This is Archived Content

This content is available for historical purposes only. It may not reflect the current state of science or language from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
View current meetings on


November 13, 2006 - 12:00am
Bethesda North Marriott Hotel Conference Center, Bethesda, MD

NIDA Organizer: Yonette Thomas, Ph.D.

Meeting Purpose and Intent:

The purpose of this workshop was to:

  • Provide an opportunity for researchers from different disciplines to highlight and answer epidemiologic questions related to drug abuse trajectories among African Americans and
  • Engage participants in a focused discussion on how to critically generate prevention interventions that are likely to best serve this population.

Questions to be addressed include the following:

  • What do we mean by "drug abuse trajectory?"
  • What does the current literature say about drug abuse trajectories and how they differ by race/ethnicity?
  • What risk and protective factors are related to the different trajectories and crossover effects and do these factors differ across and within racial/ethnic groups and among African Americans in particular?
  • What gaps exist in our research in understanding trajectories of drug abuse among African Americans?
  • How do trajectories link to high-risk outcomes such as HIV/AIDS?
  • What should the next generation of research look like particularly with regard to prevention interventions?
  • How can NIDA encourage research to address these questions?

Brief Discussion of Meeting Outcome:

Various topics were raised in the discussion, such as:

  • Discrimination
  • Are current research methods and tools adequate for measuring such factors as discrimination and incarceration?
  • Stress - Do the data imply that African-Americans are exposed to more stress? The general conclusion was that the fundamental question is: "why they don't use drugs much more, given the stressors and what are the coping mechanisms that help explain that?"
  • Is the research community fully exploiting the data that already exist?
  • Are there ways to reexamine existing data to address some of the gaps in knowledge?
  • To what extent are new studies needed, and what approach should they take?

Participants discussed various ways of publishing the information shared at the meeting, such as in a special issue of a journal and the contents and parameters of that publication. They agreed to continue the discussion in a follow-up conference call.


None to date