Women's "storylines" of methamphetamine initiation in the midwest

Kristin Carbone-Lopez, Jennifer Gatewood Owens, Jody Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Scholars have learned a great deal about the age at which individuals typically initiate particular drugs, the contexts in which they initiate use, and some of the motivations for initiation. Despite this attention, there remain few scholarly examinations of the accounts or "storylines" that users themselves give as explanation for their initiation. The authors present research from 40 interviews with female methamphetamine (meth) users incarcerated in Missouri, a state that has gained national attention for having high numbers of meth lab seizures. This study focuses specifically on the ways in which women articulate their storylines of initiation into meth use. These reveal a number of important findings, including the most common contexts in which women describe first using meth and their motivations for doing so. In particular, the findings highlight the role of family drug use, prior victimization experiences, and meth's known pharmacological effects in women's motivations for initiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-246
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • Initiation
  • Methamphetamine
  • Rural areas
  • Storylines
  • Women


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