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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 607; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060607

Risky Substance Use Environments and Addiction: A New Frontier for Environmental Justice Research

1
Department of Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA
2
Commonwealth Institute for Child & Family Studies, Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jayajit Chakraborty, Sara E. Grineski and Timothy W. Collins
Received: 11 May 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [303 KB, uploaded 18 June 2016]

Abstract

Substance use disorders are widely recognized as one of the most pressing global public health problems, and recent research indicates that environmental factors, including access and exposure to substances of abuse, neighborhood disadvantage and disorder, and environmental barriers to treatment, influence substance use behaviors. Racial and socioeconomic inequities in the factors that create risky substance use environments may engender disparities in rates of substance use disorders and treatment outcomes. Environmental justice researchers, with substantial experience in addressing racial and ethnic inequities in environmental risk from technological and other hazards, should consider similar inequities in risky substance use environments as an environmental justice issue. Research should aim at illustrating where, why, and how such inequities in risky substance use environments occur, the implications of such inequities for disparities in substance use disorders and treatment outcomes, and the implications for tobacco, alcohol, and drug policies and prevention and treatment programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental justice; environmental equity; drug abuse; substance use; substance abuse; addiction; substance use disorder; health disparity; tobacco outlet; alcohol outlet; neighborhood disorder; neighborhood disadvantage environmental justice; environmental equity; drug abuse; substance use; substance abuse; addiction; substance use disorder; health disparity; tobacco outlet; alcohol outlet; neighborhood disorder; neighborhood disadvantage
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mennis, J.; Stahler, G.J.; Mason, M.J. Risky Substance Use Environments and Addiction: A New Frontier for Environmental Justice Research. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 607.

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