Avelardo Valdez, PhD

Title(s)Cleofas and Victor Ramirez Professor of Practice, Policy, Research and Advocacy for the Latino Population, Professor of Social Work and Sociology, Department of Adult Mental Health and Wellness
SchoolSchool of Social Work
Phone+1 213 821 6482
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    National Academy of Sciences2012National Committe Member on the Causes and Consequences of High Rates of Incarceration
    National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse2009National Award of Excellence Senior Research Scientist
    Society for the Study of Social Problems,2009Senior Scholar Award
    National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse 2006National Award of Excellence for Mentoring
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee2005Scott Greer Award
    The University of Houston Department of Sociology and Mexican American Studies1992  - 1993Visiting Scholar
    Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico1987  - 1988Fulbright Scholar

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Avelardo Valdez is currently a professor at the USC School of Social Work. He was previously a professor at the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston and Director of the Center for Drug & Social Policy Research. He obtained his Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

    A primary focus of his research has been on the relationship between substance abuse and violence and health issues among high-risk groups. His research projects have been among “hidden populations” such as youth and prison gang members, injecting and non-injecting heroin users and sex workers on the U.S./Mexico border. He has published over 75 journal articles and chapters and academic publications including two books. His most recent book is entitled Mexican American Girls and Gang Violence: Beyond Risk (2007).

    He is a recipient of federal grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). His current NIH funded grant focuses on examining the long-term consequences of adolescent gang membership among Mexican Americans in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Valdez is also a recipient of a NIDA Minority Institution Drug Abuse Research Development Program grant and a NIDA Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute on Hispanic Drug Abuse.

    Dr. Valdez received the Award for Excellence in Mentorship from the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse (NHSN) for his role in directing the NHSN Summer Training Institute. He is the recipient of numerous other awards including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Scott Geer Award for Post Graduate Achievement in Advancing Understanding of Urban Social Institutions. He is a founding member of the NHSN National Steering Committee. He is a recent recipient (2009) of the Senior Scholar Award for the Society for the Study of Social Problems, Drinking and Drugs Division.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Emergence and Diffusion of Crack and Related Health Risk Behaviors in Mexico City
    NIH/NIDA R21DA031376Apr 15, 2011 - Mar 31, 2014
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute on Hispanic Drug Abuse
    NIH/NIDA R25DA026401Aug 1, 2009 - May 31, 2020
    Role: Principal Investigator
    At Risk Hispanic Gangs: Long-Term Consequences for Hiv, Hepatitis and STI
    NIH/NIDA R01DA023857Sep 30, 2008 - Aug 31, 2013
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Substance Use and Other Health Consequences Among Katrina Evacuees in Houston
    NIH/NIDA R01DA021852Jun 1, 2006 - Apr 30, 2010
    Role: Principal Investigator
    University of Houston Drug Abuse Research Development Program II
    NIH/NIDA R24DA019798Apr 1, 2005 - Mar 31, 2020
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Hispanic Heroin Users, Transitions to Injecting and HIV
    NIH/NIDA R01DA013560Sep 30, 2001 - Aug 31, 2007
    Role: Principal Investigator
    NIH/NIDA R01DA008604May 1, 1995 - Sep 30, 2001
    Role: Principal Investigator
    NIH/NIDA R24DA007234Jul 9, 1991 - Apr 30, 2001
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse In The News

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Frankeberger J, Cepeda A, Natera-Rey G, Valdez A. Safer Crack Kits and Smoking Practices: Effectiveness of a Harm Reduction Intervention among Active Crack Users in Mexico City. Subst Use Misuse. 2019 Jan 17; 1-9. PMID: 30654689.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Cepeda A, Nowotny KM, Frankeberger J, Onge JMS, Valdez A. Biological Risk and Infection Profiles of Young Adult Male Mexican American Gang Members. Public Health Rep. 2018 Sep/Oct; 133(5):551-558. PMID: 30067450.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Mendoza-Meléndez MÁ, Cepeda A, Frankeberger J, López-Macario M, Valdez A. History of child sexual abuse among women consuming illicit substances in Mexico City. J Subst Use. 2018; 23(5):520-527. PMID: 30393464.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Nowotny KM, Frankeberger J, Rodriguez VE, Valdez A, Cepeda A. Behavioral, Psychological, Gender, and Health Service Correlates to Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Infection among Young Adult Mexican-American Women Living in a Disadvantaged Community. Behav Med. 2018 Mar 20; 1-10. PMID: 29558260.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Nowotny KM, Perdue T, Cepeda A, Valdez A. Mental health of heroin users with differing injection drug use histories: A non-treatment sample of Mexican American young adult men. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 12 01; 181:124-131. PMID: 29054031.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Cepeda A, Frankeberger J, Bailey JL, Nowotny KM, Natera-Rey G, Valdez A. HIV and STI knowledge, testing, and risk among adult crack users in Mexico city: baseline findings from a feasibility study. AIDS Care. 2017 03; 29(3):350-354. PMID: 27832703.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Valdez A, Nowotny KM, Negi N, Mora EZ, Cepeda A. Un Jalón, Un Volteón, y Otra Vez: High-Risk Crack Smoking Paraphernalia in México City. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2016 Sep-Oct; 48(4):295-302. PMID: 27356211.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Cepeda A, Nowotny KM, Frankeberger J, Valdez A. Precocious transitions and long-term heroin use outcomes: A longitudinal study of gang-affiliated Mexican-American males. Addict Behav. 2016 09; 60:48-52. PMID: 27092995; PMCID: PMC4884489 [Available on 09/01/17].
    9. Cepeda A, Nowotny KM, Valdez A. Injecting Drug Use Among Mexican Female Sex Workers on the US-Mexico Border. J Ethn Subst Abuse. 2015 Oct-Dec; 14(4):351-63. PMID: 26211392.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Cepeda A, Saint Onge JM, Nowotny KM, Valdez A. Associations Between Long-Term Gang Membership and Informal Social Control Processes, Drug Use, and Delinquent Behavior Among Mexican American Youth. Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol. 2016 Oct; 60(13):1532-48. PMID: 25979430.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Cepeda A, Nowotny KM, Valdez A. Trajectories of Aging Long-Term Mexican American Heroin Injectors: The "Maturing Out" Paradox. J Aging Health. 2016 Feb; 28(1):19-39. PMID: 25953814.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Valdez A, Kaplan C, Nowotny KM, Natera-Rey G, Cepeda A. Emerging patterns of crack use in Mexico City. Int J Drug Policy. 2015 Aug; 26(8):739-45. PMID: 26003928; PMCID: PMC4499486.
    13. Saint Onge JM, Cepeda A, Lee King PA, Valdez A. The relationship between trajectories of family/cultural stressors and depression and suicidal ideation among substance using Mexican-American adults. Am J Community Psychol. 2013 Dec; 52(3-4):263-72. PMID: 23904175.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Cepeda A, Kaplan C, Neaigus A, Cano MÁ, Villarreal Y, Valdez A. Injecting transition risk and depression among Mexican American non-injecting heroin users. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012 Sep; 125 Suppl 1:S12-7. PMID: 22749681; PMCID: PMC4451197.
    15. Torres LR, Kaplan C, Valdez A. Health consequences of long-term injection heroin use among aging Mexican American men. J Aging Health. 2011 Sep; 23(6):912-32. PMID: 21451118.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Valdez A, Neaigus A, Kaplan C, Cepeda A. High rates of transitions to injecting drug use among Mexican American non-injecting heroin users in San Antonio, Texas (never and former injectors). Drug Alcohol Depend. 2011 Apr 01; 114(2-3):233-6. PMID: 21075561; PMCID: PMC3060287.
    17. Valdez A, Cepeda A, Negi NJ, Kaplan C. Fumando la piedra: emerging patterns of crack use among Latino immigrant day laborers in New Orleans. J Immigr Minor Health. 2010 Oct; 12(5):737-42. PMID: 19924538; PMCID: PMC3001040.
    18. Cepeda A, Valdez A. Ethnographic strategies in the tracking and retention of street-recruited community-based samples of substance using hidden populations in longitudinal studies. Subst Use Misuse. 2010 Apr; 45(5):700-16. PMID: 20222780; PMCID: PMC3003425.
    19. Valdez A, Sifaneck SJ. Qualitative methodological issues in drug user research. Subst Use Misuse. 2010 Apr; 45(5):645-7. PMID: 20222776.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Cepeda A, Saint Onge JM, Kaplan C, Valdez A. The association between disaster-related experiences and mental health outcomes among drug using African American Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Community Ment Health J. 2010 Dec; 46(6):612-20. PMID: 20091228; PMCID: PMC2919598.
    21. Cepeda A, Valdez A, Kaplan C, Hill LE. Patterns of substance use among hurricane Katrina evacuees in Houston, Texas. Disasters. 2010 Apr; 34(2):426-46. PMID: 19863564; PMCID: PMC3008163.
    22. Valdez A, Cepeda A, Kaplan C. Homicidal Events Among Mexican American Street Gangs: A Situational Analysis. Homicide Stud. 2009 Sep 01; 13(3):288-306. PMID: 21218188.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Valdez A, Neaigus A, Kaplan CD. The Influence of Family and Peer Risk Networks on Drug Use Practices and Other Risks among Mexican American Noninjecting Heroin Users. J Contemp Ethnogr. 2008 Feb 01; 37(1):79-107. PMID: 19337564.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Valdez A, Cepeda A, Neaigus A, Russell A. Heroin transition risk among daily and non-daily cannabis users who are non-injectors of heroin. Int J Drug Policy. 2008 Dec; 19(6):442-9. PMID: 19038723; PMCID: PMC3008164.
    25. Valdez A, Kaplan CD, Curtis RL. Aggressive crime, alcohol and drug use, and concentrated poverty in 24 U.S. urban areas. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2007; 33(4):595-603. PMID: 17668345; PMCID: PMC3015237.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Valdez A, Neaigus A, Cepeda A. Potential risk factors for injecting among Mexican American non-injecting heroin users. J Ethn Subst Abuse. 2007; 6(2):49-73. PMID: 18192204; PMCID: PMC2621113.
    28. Warner LA, Valdez A, Vega WA, de la Rosa M, Turner RJ, Canino G. Hispanic drug abuse in an evolving cultural context: an agenda for research. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2006 Sep; 84 Suppl 1:S8-16. PMID: 16750335.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Valdez A, Kaplan CD, Cepeda A. The drugs-violence nexus among Mexican-American gang members. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2006 Jun; 38(2):109-21. PMID: 16903450; PMCID: PMC3015236.
    30. Cervantes RC, Duenas N, Valdez A, Kaplan C. Measuring violence risk and outcomes among Mexican American adolescent females. J Interpers Violence. 2006 Jan; 21(1):24-41. PMID: 16399922.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Valdez A. MEXICAN AMERICAN YOUTH AND ADULT PRISON GANGS IN A CHANGING HEROIN MARKET. J Drug Issues. 2005 Oct 01; 35(4):843-868. PMID: 21614143.
      View in: PubMed
      View in: PubMed
    33. Cepeda A, Valdez A. Risk Behaviors Among Young Mexican American Gang-Associated Females: Sexual Relations, Partying, Substance Use, and Crime. J Adolesc Res. 2003 Jan 01; 18(1):90-106. PMID: 21218177.
      View in: PubMed
    34. Valdez A, Kaplan CD, Codina E. Psychopathy Among Mexican American Gang Members: A Comparative Study. Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol. 2000 Feb; 44(1):46-58. PMID: 21516257.
      View in: PubMed
    35. Valdez A, Kaplan CD, Cepeda A. The process of paradoxical autonomy and survival in the heroin careers of Mexican American women. Contemp Drug Probl. 2000; 27:189. PMID: 21057594.
      View in: PubMed