Placing Substance Abuse

Geographical Perspectives on Substance Use and Addiction
  • Sara McLafferty


This chapter discusses how the concept of place and related geographic methodologies has been used in understanding health and health care, and it suggests avenues of exploration for research on substance abuse. ‘Place’ provides a foundation for understanding how substance abuse behaviors, prevention, and treatment relate to place environments from the personal to the global scale. I describe three main areas of contribution: exploring geographic inequalities in health; understanding the associations between place environments and health; and analyzing disparities in health care access and location. Each of these topics is discussed, in turn, emphasizing important themes and recent developments in health/medical geography literature and their applicability to research on substance use and abuse.


Substance Abuse Geographic Information System Census Tract Activity Space Areal Unit 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara McLafferty
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUSA

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