Junkie Business Critical Analysis

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Critical Analysis “ Junkie Business”

It is apparent that Dr. Hoffer is well qualified to write this case study concerning two

street junkies and the impact of heroin dealing on users’ beliefs and behaviors.

Lee Hoffer holds a Masters degree in Anthropology and Ph.D. in Health and Behavioral

Sciences from the University of Colorado at Denver. He also holds a Masters degree in

Psychiatric Epidemiology from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Since 1992, Lee has conducted research on numerous National Institute on Drug Abuse's

(NIDA) funded research projects that have focused on understanding the political, social

and cultural dimensions of HIV risk behaviors of out-of-treatment drug users. From

1997-1999 he was Colorado's representative to NIDA's, Community Epidemiology

Workgroup, assembling data and reporting on statewide drug use trends. In 2000, he was

awarded a two-year NIDA pre-doctoral fellowship to conduct an ethnographic study of a

heroin dealing network, which resulted in Junkie Business. From 2002-2005, Lee trained

with Dr. Linda Cottler as a NIDA post-doctoral fellow in psychiatric epidemiology at

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Interested in ethnography and

epidemiology, Lee participated in a number of research projects during his fellowship.

Currently Lee is a research instructor in the Epidemiology and Prevention Research

Group (EPRG) in the department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of

Medicine, where, in addition to teaching medical anthropology, he is actively extending

his research on the illegal drug economy. Through a two-year grant from NIDA, he is

using ethnographic data on heroin dealing to develop several agent-based computer

simulation models. Borrowing from Complexity theory and non-linear dynamics, the aim

of this project is to elaborate how, through the exchange and distribution of illegal drugs...
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