Age and sharing of needle injection equipment in a cohort of Massachusetts injection drug users: an observational studyReportar como inadecuado

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Addiction Science and Clinical Practice

, 8:20

First Online: 13 December 2013Received: 08 February 2013Accepted: 02 December 2013DOI: 10.1186-1940-0640-8-20

Cite this article as: Tassiopoulos, K., Bernstein, J. & Bernstein, E. Addict Sci Clin Pract 2013 8: 20. doi:10.1186-1940-0640-8-20


BackgroundHepatitis C infection HCV among individuals aged 15–24 years has increased in Massachusetts, likely due to injection drug use. The prevalence of injection equipment sharing sharing and its association with age was examined in a cohort of out-of-treatment Massachusetts substance users.

MethodsThis analysis included baseline data from a behavioral intervention with substance users. Younger and older <25 versus ≥25 years injection drug users were compared on demographic characteristics, substance use practices, including factors present during the most recent sharing event -event-level factors-, and HCV testing history.

ResultsSharing was reported by 41% of the 484 individuals who reported injection drug use in the past 30 days. Prevalence of sharing varied by age 50% <25 years old versus 38% ≥25 years, p = 0.02. In a multivariable logistic regression model younger versus older individuals had twice the odds of sharing 95% CI = 1.26, 3.19. During their most recent sharing event, fewer younger individuals than older had their own drugs available 50% versus 75%, p < 0.001; other injection event-level factors did not vary by age. In the presence of PTSD, history of exchanging sex for money, or not being US born, prevalence of sharing by older users was higher and was similar to that of younger users, such that there was no association between age and sharing.

ConclusionsIn this cohort of injection drug users, younger age was associated with higher prevalence of sharing, but only in the absence of certain stressors. Harm reduction efforts might benefit from intervening on mental health and other stressors in addition to substance use. Study findings suggest a particular need to address the dangers of sharing with young individuals initiating injection drug use.

KeywordsInjection drug use Injection equipment sharing Young age Hepatitis C  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Katherine Tassiopoulos - Judith Bernstein - Edward Bernstein


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