Characteristics of rural crack and powder cocaine use: Gender and other correlates

Sandra K. Pope, Russel S. Falck, Robert G. Carlson, Carl Leukefeld, Brenda M. Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about the relationship of gender with cocaine use in rural areas. This study describes these relationships among stimulant users residing in rural areas of Arkansas, Kentucky, and Ohio. Objectives: Understanding the characteristics of crack and powder cocaine users in rural areas may help inform prevention, education, and treatment efforts to address rural stimulant use. Methods: Participants were 690 stimulant users, including 274 (38.6%) females, residing in nine rural counties. Cocaine use was measured by self-report of cocaine use, frequency of use, age of first use, and cocaine abuse/dependence. Powder cocaine use was reported by 49% of this sample of stimulant users and 59% reported using crack cocaine. Findings: Differing use patterns emerged for female and male cocaine users in this rural sample; females began using alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine at later ages than males but there were no gender differences in current powder cocaine use. Females reported more frequent use of crack cocaine and more cocaine abuse/dependence than males, and in regression analyses, female crack cocaine users had 1.8 times greater odds of reporting frequent crack use than male crack users. Conclusions and Scientific Significance: These findings suggest differing profiles and patterns of cocaine use for male and female users in rural areas, supporting previous findings in urban areas of gender-based vulnerability to negative consequences of cocaine use. Further research on cocaine use in rural areas can provide insights into gender differences that can inform development and refinement of effective interventions in rural communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-496
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • cocaine
  • gender
  • rural
  • substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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