Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area Drug Study (DC*MADS), 1991: Homeless and Transient Population (ICPSR 2346)

Alternate Title:   DC*MADS, 1991 (Homeless and Transient)

Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Drug Abuse


The DC Metropolitan Area Drug Study (DC*MADS) was conducted in 1991, and included special analyses of homeless and transient populations and of women delivering live births in the DC hospitals. DC*MADS was undertaken to assess the full extent of the drug problem in one metropolitan area. The study was comprised of 16 separate studies that focused on different sub-groups, many of which are typically not included or are underrepresented in household surveys.

The Homeless and Transient Population study examines the prevalence of illicit drug, alcohol, and tobacco use among members of the homeless and transient population aged 12 and older in the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Statistical Area (DC MSA). The sample frame included respondents from shelters, soup kitchens and food banks, major cluster encampments, and literally homeless people. Data from the questionnaires include history of homelessness, living arrangements and population movement, tobacco, drug, and alcohol use, consequences of use, treatment history, illegal behavior and arrest, emergency room treatment and hospital stays, physical and mental health, pregnancy, insurance, employment and finances, and demographics. Drug specific data include age at first use, route of administration, needle use, withdrawal symptoms, polysubstance use, and perceived risk.

Series: Washington, DC Metropolitan Area Drug Study (DC*MADS) Series

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


(Washington) DC Metropolitan Area Drug Study (DC*MADS), 1991: Homeless and Transient Population - Download All Files (17.6 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    ASCII    Excel/TSV
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
Analyze Online:

Study Description


United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area Drug Study (DC*MADS), 1991: Homeless and Transient Population. ICPSR02346-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-07-24. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02346.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02346.v2

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Drug Abuse

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    arrests, cocaine, crack cocaine, demographic characteristics, drug abuse, drug related crimes, drug use, drugs, employment, hallucinogens, health insurance, heroin, homeless persons, inhalants, living arrangements, marijuana, mental health, mental health treatment, methamphetamines, physical health, population characteristics, pregnancy, prescription drugs, sedatives, smoking, stimulants, substance abuse treatment, urban population, substance abuse treatment, urban population

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1991

Date of Collection:   

  • 1991-01--1991-06

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    Persons aged 12 and older in the DC MSA who were either literally homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless, including persons who spent the previous night in an emergency shelter, in a nondomicile (e.g., vacant building, city park, car, or on the street) or who were using soup kitchens or emergency food banks.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Produced by Research Triangle Institute in Research Triangle Park, NC.


Sample:    The Homeless and Transient Population study consisted of 908 interviews from four overlapping sampling frames: 477 interviews with residents in 93 shelters, 224 interviews with patrons of 31 soup kitchens and food banks, 143 interviews with "literally homeless" people from 18 major cluster encampments, and 64 interviews with literally homeless people from an area probability sample of 432 census blocks in the MSA. People who were cognitively impaired and could not complete the interview were excluded from the survey. Impairment was defined as extreme intoxification or scoring more than nine on the Short Blessed Exam (Katzman, Brown, Fuld, Peck, Schecter, and Schimmel, 1983).

Data Source:

personal interviews

Response Rates:    The institutional response rate (i.e., for shelters and soup kitchens) was 82.6 percent. The individual interview response rate was 86.1 percent. The overall response rate was 71 percent.

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Restrictions: Users are reminded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services that these data are to be used solely for statistical analysis and reporting of aggregated information and not for the investigation of specific individuals or treatment facilities.


Original ICPSR Release:   1998-04-28

Version History:

  • 2008-07-24 New files were added. These files included one or more of the following: Stata setup, SAS transport (CPORT), SPSS system, Stata system, SAS supplemental syntax, and Stata supplemental syntax files, and a tab-delimited ASCII data file. Also, the CASEID variable has been added to the dataset.
  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

Related Publications


Instructional Resources

Instructional guides that utilize this dataset are available:


Metadata Exports

If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.

Download Statistics