Methamphetamine Using Careers of White and Black Women

Academic Article


  • From current arrest data, as well as scholarly research, it appears that methamphetamine (meth) is generally considered a "white drug." Although most meth users are white, a nontrivial percentage is black. In this study we explore racial differences in the drug careers of women meth users. Specifically, we use in-depth interviews with 13 black and 17 white former meth users to determine if there are differences in the initiation into, persistence with, and desistance from use. From these interviews we observe racial differences in terms of how the women were introduced to meth, the way they experienced the high, how they procured the drug, their access to the drug, and the length of their drug careers. We find that the deviant careers for white and black meth users are similar in many ways, but various social and structural barriers to meth use among black women made their careers shorter and distinct compared to white users. © 2014 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kerley KR; Leban L; Copes H; Taylor L; Agnone C
  • Start Page

  • 477
  • End Page

  • 495
  • Volume

  • 35
  • Issue

  • 6