The South Beach Project: Prescription Drug Abuse among Club Drug Users

Steven P. Kurtz, Principal Investigator 
James A. Inciardi, Co-Investigator
Hilary L. Surratt, Co-Investigator 

Initiated: 2005

Funding Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Project Summary:

This 5-year natural history study recruited 600 club and prescription drug abusers over a 30-month period through respondent-driven sampling techniques. Assessments are made at baseline, 6 month, 12 month and 18 months of onset, progression and extent of prescription, club and other drug use. In addition to assessments of drug abuse (prescription, club, and other drugs) and their health and social consequences, participants receive voluntary testing for HIV infection using OraSure.  Recruitment is completed, and follow-up data collection is continuing. Median age is 24; 40% are female, 51% Hispanic, 21% White, and 25% Black. Data analyses will use a variety of statistical techniques to describe the population, the epidemiology of prescription and other drug use in the club culture, the settings and mechanisms through which users purchase or otherwise gain access to club drugs and prescription drugs, and the nature and prevalence of related health and other consequences. The short-term objectives of this project are to describe the nature of prescription drug abuse/club drug use and their adverse consequences in the Miami club culture. A broader long-term goal is to develop a better understanding of the current patterns and consequences of the abuse of prescription drugs and their incursion into the club culture, in order that effective strategies and policies may be developed for reducing the abuse and diversion of these drugs in Miami and other communities.

Select publications:

Kurtz, Steven O., James A. Inciardi and Elisa Pujals. 2009. “Criminal activity among young adults in the club scene,” Law Enforcement Executive Forum, 9(2): 47-59.

Inciardi, James A., Hilary L. Surratt, Steven P. Kurtz, and Theodore J. Cicero. 2007. “Mechanisms of Prescription Drug Diversion among Drug Involved Club and Street-Based Populations.” Pain Medicine 8: 171-183.