New Student Welcome

New Student Welcome and Orientation: August 21, 2024

Avelardo Valdez

Cleofas and Victor Ramirez Professor of Practice, Policy, Research and Advocacy for the Latino Population

Dr. Valdez is an expert on the relationship between substance abuse and violence and health issues among high-risk groups.

Media Contact
Avelardo Valdez
Phone:  +1 213.821.6482
Rank:  Tenure Track Faculty

Avelardo Valdez

Cleofas and Victor Ramirez Professor of Practice, Policy, Research and Advocacy for the Latino Population

Dr. Valdez is an expert on the relationship between substance abuse and violence and health issues among high-risk groups.

Media Contact

Biography

Prior to joining USC, Avelardo Valdez was 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 PhD 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, heroin users, sex workers, aging drug users and crack users.
Professor Valdez is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar with an extensive publication record in his field of research. His most recent book is Mexican American Girls and Gang Violence: Beyond Risk. 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). Two of his NIH-funded grants focus on examining the long-term consequences of adolescent gang membership among Mexican Americans.
He is also a director of the NIDA Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute on Hispanic Drug Abuse. Professor Valdez received the Award for Excellence in Mentorship from the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse (NHSN). He is the recipient of numerous other awards including the Senior Scholar Award for the Society for the Study of Social Problems, National Award of Excellence Senior Research Scientist, National Hispanic Science Network and Outstanding Senior Scholar for the American Sociological Association. He has served as a member of the Committee for National Academy of Sciences Study of High Rates of Incarceration in the United States (2013-2014) and served on Governor Gavin Newsom‘s Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Law and Policy in California (2015) and appointed to the Advisory Cannabis Working Group by the Los Angeles County Office of Cannabis Management.
To reference the work of Avelardo Valdez online, we ask that you directly quote their work where possible and attribute it to "Avelardo Valdez, a faculty at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work” (LINK: https://dworakpeck.usc.edu)

Education

University of California, Los Angeles

PhD 1979

University of California, Los Angeles

MA 1976

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

MA 1972

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

BA 1969

Area of Expertise

  • Substance Abuse
  • Hiv/Aids
  • Behavioral Health
  • Social Development and Policy

Industry Experience

  • Research
  • Education/Learning

Research Interest

Behavioral Health HIV/AIDS Social Development/Policy Substance Abuse

Accomplishments

National Award of Excellence Senior Research Scientist

2009 National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse

Senior Scholar Award

2009 Society for the Study of Social Problems, Drinking and Drugs Division

National Award of Excellence for Mentoring

2006 National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse

Articles & Publications

Perdue, T., Cepeda, A., Kaplan, C. D., Zhao, Q., & Valdez, A. (2022). Crack cocaine use among aging Mexican American men with heroin use histories: Motivations and polydrug use patterns. Addiction Research & Theory, 30(1), 57-65. https://doi.org/10.1080/16066359.2021.1936509

Valdez, A., Cepeda, A., Frankeberger, J., & Nowotny, K. M. (2022). The opioid epidemic among the Latino population in California. Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports, 2, Article 100029. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dadr.2022.100029

Nowotny, K. M., Valdez, A., & Cepeda, A. (2022). Syndemic profiles for HIV, hepatitis C, and sextually transmitted infections among Mexican American women formerly affiliated with youth street gangs. AIDS and Behavior. Advanced online publication, July 15, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-022-03773-8

Links