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Professor of Preventive Medicine
Associate Dean for Social Justice, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Ricky N. Bluthenthal, Ph.D., is the Associate Dean for Social Justice and a Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and the Institute for Prevention Research at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California.

He received a BA in History and Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

His research has established the effectiveness of syringe exchange programs, tested novel interventions and strategies to reduce HIV risk and improve HIV testing among injection drug users and men who have sex with men, documented how community conditions contribute to health disparities, and examined health policy implementation.

His current studies include an observational cohort study of how cannabis legalization impacts use patterns and health outcomes of cannabis and opioids among people who inject drugs and a randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of a single session intervention to reduce injection initiation risk behaviors among established people who inject drugs.

Dr. Bluthenthal has authored or co-authored over 140 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals such as the American Journal of Public HealthSocial Science and MedicineThe LancetAddiction, and Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, among others.

Recent Publications

"Correlates of Transactional Sex and Violent Victimization among Men Who Inject Drugs in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California"
J Urban Health. January 6, 2021. 

"A positive deviance-based qualitative study of stress, coping, and feeding practices among low-income, Hispanic mothers whose children do versus do not meet guidelines for fruit and vegetable intake"
Health Educ Res. December 23, 2020; 35(6):584-604.

"Assisted injection provider practices and motivations in Los Angeles and San Francisco California 2016-18"
Int J Drug Policy. November 27, 2020; 103052.

"Factors associated with health-related cannabis use intentions among a community sample of people who inject drugs in Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA 2016 to 2018"
Drug Alcohol Depend. November 23, 2020; 219:108421.

"HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Prevention Awareness, Willingness, and Perceived Barriers among People Who Inject Drugs in Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA, 2016-2018"
Subst Use Misuse. September 23, 2020; 1-11.

"Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Within Syringe Service Programs - United States, 2019"
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. August 21, 2020; 69(33):1117-1121.

"Opioid withdrawal symptoms, frequency, and pain characteristics as correlates of health risk among people who inject drugs"
Drug Alcohol Depend. March 2, 2020; 107932. 

"A Community-Based Mindfulness Intervention Among Latino Adolescents and Their Parents: A Qualitative Feasibility and Acceptability Study"
J Immigr Minor Health. February 20, 2020. 

"Needle exchange effectiveness in the midst of multiple injection-related epidemics: commentary on Kaberg, et al."
Infect Dis (Lond). February 17, 2020; 1-3. 

"Characteristics Associated with Nonmedical Methadone Use Among People Who Inject Drugs in California"
Subst Use Misuse. 2020; 55(3):377-386. 

"Initiating Persons into Injection Drug Use in Rural West Virginia, USA"
Subst Use Misuse. 2020; 55(2):337-344.