Reflections on 40 years of drug abuse research: Changes in the epidemiology of drug abuse

Richard R. Clayton, Zili Sloboda, Bryan Page

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The discipline of epidemiology utilizes the constructs of agent, host, vector, and environment to study the incidence and prevalence (i.e., the nature, extent, distribution, correlates) and the contexts, and consequences of drug abuse in the United States. This paper provides a selected review of the results of 40 years of epidemiological study of drug abuse using surveillance systems, general population surveys, ethnography and qualitative research approaches. It then addresses the challenges in conducting research on drug abuse epidemiology. The paper concludes with some missed opportunities and lessons learned in four decades of a large portfolio of research studies conducted by an impressive array of distinguished scientists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-56
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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