Socioeconomic and Demographic Characteristics of Synthetic Drug Users in San Diego and Washington, DC, 1990 (ICPSR 9737)

Principal Investigator(s): DuPont, Robert L.; Saylor, Keith E.; Wish, Eric D.


This data collection offers information on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of synthetic drug users, characteristics of synthetic drug use such as frequency and method of intake, and factors that prompt drug users to begin to use synthetic drugs or to switch from agricultural drugs to synthetic drugs. Synthetic drugs investigated in the collection include PCP, ice, ecstasy, and speed, while nonsynthetic drugs include alcohol, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and crack. Patterns of use for all of these drugs are explored. Questions about specific drugs include whether the respondent had ever used the drug, age first used, number of days in the past 30 days the drug was used, whether the drug was used more than two times per week, method of drug intake, and the drug used most often by the respondent and by the respondent's friends. Additional variables include reasons for preferring synthetic or nonsynthetic drugs, reasons the respondent would discontinue use or switch to another drug, availability and cost of certain drugs, and extent of involvement in selling, money handling, and protection. Finally, demographic variables such as sex, ethnicity, age, highest grade completed, employment activity in the past month, geographical location, and subject source (criminal justice system or drug treatment center) are included in the file. The unit of analysis is the individual drug user.

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.


Dataset - Download All Files (2.531 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    ASCII   
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   

Study Description


DuPont, Robert L., Keith E. Saylor, and Eric D. Wish. SOCIOECONOMIC AND DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS OF SYNTHETIC DRUG USERS IN SAN DIEGO AND WASHINGTON, DC, 1990. 2nd ICPSR version. Rockville, MD: Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc. [producer], 1991. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2001.

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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 Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (90-IJ-CX-0011)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    demographic characteristics, drug use, social influences, socioeconomic status

Geographic Coverage:    California, District of Columbia, San Diego, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1990

Date of Collection:   

  • 1990-06--1990-09

Universe:    All drug users in San Diego and Washington, DC, during 1990.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The codebook is provided by ICPSR as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.


Sample:    This study gathered information from a nonrandomized sample of drug users from treatment programs and criminal justice pretrial facilities in San Diego County, California, and in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. One criminal justice facility and three treatment programs were selected at each location. A group of 161 self-identified drug users volunteered to participate in the drug survey. All volunteers were included.

Data Source:

personal interviews

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:

  • Standardized missing values.


Original ICPSR Release:   1992-03-04

Version History:

  • 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.
  • 2001-12-21 The data files were converted from card image format to logical record length. A new codebook was created for the LRECL data and existing hardcopy documentation was converted to PDF. SAS and SPSS data definition statements were also added to the collection.

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