Opportunities to use drugs and the transition to drug use among adolescents from Caracas, Venezuela

Ronald B. Cox, Julie M. Croff, Isaac J. Washburn, Chao Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Few studies have examined exposure to drug use and the lag between exposure and use. This paper estimates prevalence of opportunity to use a substance, for use, and for use given an opportunity to use among a sample of Venezuelan adolescents. Several covariates on the opportunity to use and the transition to use are also examined. Findings show that lifetime prevalence of substance use among Venezuelan adolescents increases dramatically and more closely resembles rates among US and European samples when having had an opportunity to use was taken into account. A majority of youth who transitioned to use did so the same year exposure occurred, and females had a shorter time difference compared to males. Covariates primarily predicted exposure rather than having used after controlling for exposure, and their effects varied by substance. Implications for prevention efforts are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-260
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2017


  • Adolescent
  • Venezuela
  • family
  • gender
  • prevention
  • substance use


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