Drug Use
September 2021
Number of Participants
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Visibly Invisible: Opioid Use, Meth, and Drug Injection in New York

Our Opioid Use, Meth, and Drug Injection cores, Visibly Invisible, concentrate on the complex string of factors that contribute to drug use in communities throughout the United States, though particularly urban and rural communities in New York. Our work here centers primarily around a new research project that examines nonmedical opioid use and drug injection among Black, Latinx, and Native American individuals in this region. Via funding from Engaged Cornell and the Rural Humanities Initiative, our team is also seeking to elucidate and bridge academia-community chasms through inclusive, equitable research that incorporates the views and ideas of “participants” into the research design a la Community-Based Participatory Research principles.

We're also involved with The Delta Rural Health Study, an NIH-funded project that examines the social epidemiology of opioid use and drug injection in rural southern Illinois, focusing on the southernmost 16 counties in the region.


Ezell JM, Walters SM, Olson B**, Kaur A*, Jenkins WD, Schneider J, Pho MT. “You’re friends until everybody runs out of dope”: A framework for understanding tie meaning, purpose, and value in social networks. Social Networks. 2022 Oct 1;71:115-30.

Ezell JM, Olson B**, Walters SM, Friedman SR, Ouellet LJ, Pho MT. A Sociology of Empathy and Shared Understandings: Contextualizing Beliefs and Attitudes on Why People Use Opioids. Rural Sociology. 2022 Apr.

Ezell JM, Ompad D, Walters S. How Urban and Rural Built Environments Influence the Health Attitudes and Behaviors of  People Who Use Drugs. Health & Place. 2021; 69, 102578.

Ezell JM, Walters SM, Friedman SR, Ouellet LJ, Jenkins WD, Link BG, Pho MT. Stigmatize the use, not the user? Attitudes on opioid use, drug injection, treatment, and overdose prevention in rural communities. Social Science and Medicine. 2020; 268, 113470.