The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4093.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 3

Abstract #34202

Factors associated with transition to injection drug use among young injection drug users

Susan G. Sherman, Department of Epidemiology, Infectious Disease Program, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, E6006, Baltimore, MD 21205, (410) 614-3518,, Nina G Shah, MSc, Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, 627 N. Washington St., Baltimore, MD 21205`, Danielle C. Ompad, MHS, Department of Epidemiology, Infectious Disease Program, Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health, 627 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, Crystal Fuller, MPH, PhD, Division of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, 622 W. 168th Street, PH 18-120, New York, NY 10032, David Vlahov, PhD, Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies, New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10029, and S.A. Strathdee, PhD, School Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 615 North Wolfe Street, E6010, Baltimore, MD 21205.

Objective: To examine social factors of injection initiation among young drug users in Baltimore, MD. Methods: Drug users aged 15 – 30 years old who had initiated injection or non-injection use of heroin, cocaine, and/or crack within the prior 5 years were studied. Eligible participants completed an interviewer-administered survey. Logistic regression was utilized to identify factors associated with transition to injection, adjusting for gender and education. Results: Of the 373 drug users (212 IDUs and 161 Non-IDUs), 32% were female, 46% African American, 50% White, and 68% completed high school. The mean age was 23 years. Median age of first sniffing heroin was 18 vs. 21 for IDUs and non-IDUs, respectively. In multivariate analyses, White participants were 10 times more likely to initiate injection compared to African Americans (95% CIs: 4.75, 22.5). Participants who first used drugs at a younger vs. older age and who had less time between soft (marijuana and inhalants) and hard (heroin, crack, and/or cocaine) drug use were significantly more likely to initiate injection. Individuals that saw someone inject prior to initiating injecting were twice as likely to initiate injection compared to those who didn’t (AOR=2.1, 95% CI: 1.1, 3.9). Among Whites, parents’ use of drugs was significantly associated with not transitioning to injection (AOR=0.25; 95% CI: 0.10, 0.62). Conclusions: Differing social factors were related to injection initiation by race, suggesting that different pathways to injection. Understanding the factors related to injection initiation could inform the design of harm reduction interventions.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Injection Drug Users, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Patterns of Substance Abuse Poster Session

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA