Patterns of Property Crime Among Three Groups of Heroin Users

Dixie Jasun Koo, University of Miami
Jesus Sanchez, University of Miami
Karen Pierre, University of Miami
Dale D. Chitwood, University of Miami

The purpose of this presentation is to: (1) Estimate the prevalence of property crime among a sample of 900 heroin users; (2) Examine the impact of crack use, frequency of heroin use, and route of ingestion on property crime. A stratified network based tri-ethnic sample of non-Hispanic white, African American, and Hispanic men and women, was recruited in South Florida. Three subsamples are included in the study: New injection users (NIU=300); Long term injection users (LTIU=300); and Sniffers (n=300). The prevalence of property crime committed in the past thirty days was approximately 35%. Both injector groups are significantly more likely than the sniffers to commit property crimes. NIU's are more likely than the LTIU's to commit property crimes. Crack use is significantly associated to property crime for sniffers, but not for either injector groups. The frequency of heroin use is a significant factor to property crime for both injector groups, but not for the sniffers; injectors who use heroin daily are more likely than the injectors who use heroin less than daily to commit property crimes. One pattern revealed across each of the three heroin groups is: Subjects who use crack and use heroin daily are more likely to commit property crimes than subjects whose crack use or frequency is less.

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Updated 05/20/2006