Re-Entry: Social Networks and Opioid Use (023)

Study Information


People from varied communities enter the justice system, exit, and re-enter to create a complex circulation driven by a number of social and structural factors. Often ignored are important social interactions that drive opioid use disorder (OUD) or methamphetamine use. Social learning and differential association theories hold that risky behaviors, including rationalizations for them, diffuse through social networks of close ties. Furthermore, network members influence behavior by virtue of the behavioral example they provide, the normative pressures they exert, and perceptions of these influences. If we understand how OUD/meth recovery/renewed use moves through networks and their local geographic contexts, we will be able to develop new interventions, and determine previously unobserved mechanisms as to why interventions may fail or have success.

In this project, The University of Chicago will build out and refine network and substance use data within a diverse group of populations through existing cohorts that include rural and urban and sexual and gender minority sub-populations. The goal of the project is to better understand the social network and structural factors that drive the intersection of substance use disorders and criminal justice involvement.

Study Settings: Jails/Prisons

Grant number: U2CDA050098

Link to NIH Reporter record:

Study Team

PI: John Schneider

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Study Aims

• Determine the social network effects on opioid and/or methamphetamine use initiation and resumption of use, and compare network structures across geographic settings and justice contexts

• Investigate selective affiliation with community care spaces based upon similarity in opioid/methamphetamine use and recovery behaviors

Research Type

Modeling Project