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Crack Cocaine Trajectories Among Users in a Midwestern American City
  • Russel S. Falck, Wright State University - Main Campus
  • Jichuan Wang, Wright State University - Main Campus
  • Robert G. Carlson, Wright State University - Main Campus
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Aims: Although crack cocaine first appeared in cities in the United States in the mid-1980s, little is known about its use over long periods of time. This study identified crack cocaine user groups on the basis of long-term trajectories. Design: Following a natural history approach, data were collected periodically from 1996 to 2005. Group-based modeling assessed the probability of a crack smoker becoming abstinent during the observation period. Setting: A targeted sampling plan guided the recruitment of a community sample of crack cocaine users in Dayton, Ohio. Participants: Crack smokers (n = 430) 18 years or older whose urine tested positive for cocaine metabolites at the baseline interview. Measurements: Interviewer-administered and audio computer self-administered, structured questionnaires were used to collect data on a range of variables, including frequency of crack use. Abstinence was defined as not having used crack for at least 6 consecutive months during the study. Findings: Three trajectory-based groups were identified: (1) No Change, characterized by a very low probability of abstinence; (2) Some Change, characterized by a low to moderate probability of abstinence; and (3) Dramatic Change, characterized by a high probability of abstinence. African Americans and men were significantly less likely to become abstinent. For the majority of the people (63.6%), crack use was uninterrupted by extended periods of abstinence during the study. Conclusion: Crack cocaine use that persists for a decade or longer may well be the norm for a large proportion of people who have experience with the drug.
Citation Information
Russel S. Falck, Jichuan Wang and Robert G. Carlson. "Crack Cocaine Trajectories Among Users in a Midwestern American City" Addiction Vol. 102 Iss. 9 (2007) p. 1421 - 1431 ISSN: 0965-2140
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