Alexandra B. Collins

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

Alexandra B. Collins, PhD, MSc (she/her/hers) is a medical social scientist, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, and a member of the People, Place, and Health Collective. She uses community-engaged qualitative and ethnographic methods to examine social, structural, and environmental forces impacting the health and social outcomes of people who use drugs, and how these dimensions produce differential outcomes across social identities. She is particularly interested in the role of housing, criminalization, and built environmental factors in impacting access to harm reduction interventions; the impact of the changing drug supply on drug use practices and health outcomes; the implementation and effectiveness of harm reduction and treatment interventions; and gender and drug use.

Selected Publications

Collins AB, Boyd J, Cooper HLF, McNeil R. (2019). The intersectional risk environment of people who use drugs. Social Science & Medicine, 234. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.112384

Collins AB, Boyd J, Mayer S, Fowler A, Kennedy MC, Bluthenthal RN, Kerr T, McNeil R. (2019). Policing space in the overdose crisis: A rapid ethnographic study of the impact of law enforcement practices on the effectiveness of overdose prevention sites. International Journal of Drug Policy, 73:199-207.

Collins AB, Boyd J, Czechaczek S, Hayashi K, McNeil R. (2020). (Re)shaping the self: An ethnographic study of the embodied and spatial practices of women who use drugs. Health & Place, 63. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2020.102327

Collins AB, Edwards S, McNeil R, Goldman J, Hallowell BD, Scagos RP, Marshall BDL. (2022). A rapid ethnographic study of risk negotiation during the COVID-19 pandemic among unstably housed people who use drugs in Rhode. International Journal of Drug Policy, 103. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2022.103626

Scholarly Interests

Substance use; built environment and neighborhood change; gender inequities; social and structural determinants of health; harm reduction; drug policy; HIV and drug use; qualitative and community-based research