126 research outputs found

    “I Felt Like a Superhero”: The Experience of Responding to Drug Overdose Among Individuals Trained in Overdose Prevention

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    BACKGROUND: Overdose prevention programs (OPPs) train people who inject drugs and other community members to prevent, recognise and respond to opioid overdose. However, little is known about the experience of taking up the role of an overdose responder for the participants. METHODS: We present findings from qualitative interviews with 30 participants from two OPPs in Los Angeles, CA, USA from 2010 to 2011 who had responded to at least one overdose since being trained in overdose prevention and response. RESULTS: Being trained by an OPP and responding to overdoses had both positive and negative effects for trained responders . Positive effects include an increased sense of control and confidence, feelings of heroism and pride, and a recognition and appreciation of one\u27s expertise. Negative effects include a sense of burden, regret, fear, and anger, which sometimes led to cutting social ties, but might also be mitigated by the increased empowerment associated with the positive effects. CONCLUSION: Findings suggest that becoming an overdose responder can involve taking up a new social role that has positive effects, but also confers some stress that may require additional support. OPPs should provide flexible opportunities for social support to individuals making the transition to this new and critical social role. Equipping individuals with the skills, technology, and support they need to respond to drug overdose has the potential to confer both individual and community-wide benefits

    Low-Frequency Heroin Injection among Out-of-Treatment, Street-Recruited Injection Drug Users

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    In this paper, we explore the understudied phenomenon of "low-frequency" heroin injection in a sample of street-recruited heroin injectors not in drug treatment. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 2,410 active injection drug users (IDUs) recruited in San Francisco, California from 2000 to 2005. We compare the sociodemographic characteristics and injection risk behaviors of low-frequency heroin injectors (low-FHI; one to 10 self-reported heroin injections in the past 30 days) to high-frequency heroin injectors (high-FHI; 30 or more self-reported heroin injections in the past 30 days). Fifteen percent of the sample met criteria for low-FHI. African American race, men who have sex with men (MSM) behavior, and injection and noninjection methamphetamine use were independently associated with low-FHI. Compared to high-FHI, low-FHI were less likely to report syringe sharing and nonfatal heroin overdose. A small but significant proportion of heroin injectors inject heroin 10 or less times per month. Additional research is needed to qualitatively examine low-frequency heroin injection and its relationship to drug use trajectories

    Comparing Respondent-Driven Sampling and Targeted Sampling Methods of Recruiting Injection Drug Users in San Francisco

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    The objective of this article is to compare demographic characteristics, risk behaviors, and service utilization among injection drug users (IDUs) recruited from two separate studies in San Francisco in 2005, one which used targeted sampling (TS) and the other which used respondent-driven sampling (RDS). IDUs were recruited using TS (n = 651) and RDS (n = 534) and participated in quantitative interviews that included demographic characteristics, risk behaviors, and service utilization. Prevalence estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to assess whether there were differences in these variables by sampling method. There was overlap in 95% CIs for all demographic variables except African American race (TS: 45%, 53%; RDS: 29%, 44%). Maps showed that the proportion of IDUs distributed across zip codes were similar for the TS and RDS sample, with the exception of a single zip code that was more represented in the TS sample. This zip code includes an isolated, predominantly African American neighborhood where only the TS study had a field site. Risk behavior estimates were similar for both TS and RDS samples, although self-reported hepatitis C infection was lower in the RDS sample. In terms of service utilization, more IDUs in the RDS sample reported no recent use of drug treatment and syringe exchange program services. Our study suggests that perhaps a hybrid sampling plan is best suited for recruiting IDUs in San Francisco, whereby the more intensive ethnographic and secondary analysis components of TS would aid in the planning of seed placement and field locations for RDS

    Principles and Metrics for Evaluating Oregon’s Drug Decriminalization Measure: Centering the Voices of People Who Use Drugs

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    Objective: To develop principles for how to evaluate Measure 110 and a set of meaningful metrics for effectively determining the outcomes of Measure 11

    Estimating past hepatitis C infection risk from reported risk factor histories: implications for imputing age of infection and modeling fibrosis progression

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    BackgroundChronic hepatitis C virus infection is prevalent and often causes hepatic fibrosis, which can progress to cirrhosis and cause liver cancer or liver failure. Study of fibrosis progression often relies on imputing the time of infection, often as the reported age of first injection drug use. We sought to examine the accuracy of such imputation and implications for modeling factors that influence progression rates.MethodsWe analyzed cross-sectional data on hepatitis C antibody status and reported risk factor histories from two large studies, the Women’s Interagency HIV Study and the Urban Health Study, using modern survival analysis methods for current status data to model past infection risk year by year. We compared fitted distributions of past infection risk to reported age of first injection drug use.ResultsAlthough injection drug use appeared to be a very strong risk factor, models for both studies showed that many subjects had considerable probability of having been infected substantially before or after their reported age of first injection drug use. Persons reporting younger age of first injection drug use were more likely to have been infected after, and persons reporting older age of first injection drug use were more likely to have been infected before.ConclusionsIn studies of fibrosis progression, modern methods such as multiple imputation should be used to account for the substantial uncertainty about when infection occurred. The models presented here can provide the inputs needed by such methods. Using reported age of first injection drug use as the time of infection in studies of fibrosis progression is likely to produce a spuriously strong association of younger age of infection with slower rate of progression

    Health and Oral Health Care Needs and Health Care-Seeking Behavior Among Homeless Injection Drug Users in San Francisco

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    Few existing studies have examined health and oral health needs and treatment-seeking behavior among the homeless and injection drug users (IDUs). This paper describes the prevalence and correlates of health and oral health care needs and treatment-seeking behaviors in homeless IDUs recruited in San Francisco, California, from 2003 to 2005 (N = 340). We examined sociodemographic characteristics, drug use patterns, HIV status via oral fluid testing, physical health using the Short Form 12 Physical Component Score, self-reported needs for physical and oral health care, and the self-reported frequency of seeking medical and oral health care. The sample had a lower health status as compared to the general population and reported a frequent need for physical and oral health care. In bivariate analysis, being in methadone treatment was associated with care-seeking behavior. In addition, being enrolled in Medi-Cal, California’s state Medicaid program, was associated with greater odds of seeking physical and oral health care. Methamphetamine use was not associated with higher odds of needing oral health care as compared to people who reported using other illicit drugs. Homeless IDUs in San Francisco have a large burden of unmet health and oral health needs. Recent cuts in Medi-Cal’s adult dental coverage may result in a greater burden of oral health care which will need to be provided by emergency departments and neighborhood dental clinics

    HIV Risks and Seroprevalence Among Mexican American Injection Drug Users in California

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    Latinos in the United States are an ethnically diverse group disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. We describe HIV seroprevalence, HIV risk behaviors and utilization of health services among Mexican American injection drug users (IDUs) in California (n = 286) and compare them to White (n = 830) and African American (n = 314) IDUs. Study participants were recruited from syringe exchange programs (n = 24) in California. HIV seroprevalence among Mexican Americans (0.5%) was dramatically lower than Whites (5%) and African Americans (8%). Mexican Americans reported fewer sex-related risks than Whites and African Americans though injection-related risks remained high. Compared to Whites, Mexican Americans were more likely to participate in drug treatment during a 6 month period (AOR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1, 2.0) but less likely to receive any health care (AOR 0.6, 95% CI 0.5, 0.8). Exploring cultural and structural factors among Mexican American IDUs may offer new insights into how to maintain low rates of HIV seroprevalence and reduce barriers to health care utilization
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