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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