An analysis of risk domains associated with drug transitions of active Latino gang members

J Addict Dis. 2006;25(4):81-90. doi: 10.1300/J069v25n04_08.


Alcohol and illicit drug abuse is a serious problem among male Latino gang members. Research indicates that gang members increase their drug use while they are members, and use more drugs after they leave the gangs. This manuscript reports on data reflecting the influences of individual, familial, peer, and community factors on the number of drug use transitions that Latino gang members undergo during their drug using careers. Data from this study were collected from interviews conducted with seventy-six active Latino gang members. The study's results indicate that age at the time of interview and lower age of drug onset were associated with a greater number of drug use transitions. Positive family attitudes toward deviance, friend drug use, school truancy, conflict with parents, and living in neighborhoods with a high level of crime were also found to be associated with increased drug use transitions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Central Nervous System Depressants*
  • Crime / statistics & numerical data
  • Demography
  • Disease Progression
  • Ethanol*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs*
  • Incidence
  • Juvenile Delinquency / ethnology*
  • Juvenile Delinquency / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Peer Group
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Behavior Disorders / epidemiology
  • Social Behavior Disorders / ethnology*
  • Social Environment
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / ethnology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors


  • Central Nervous System Depressants
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Ethanol