The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3326.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 2

Abstract #55431

Gender differences in opiate and stimulant use among drug users in Long Beach, CA

Grace L. Reynolds, DPA(c)1, Dennis G. Fisher, PhD1, Michele M. Wood, MS1, Michael A. Janson, BA2, and Scott Hershberger, PhD1. (1) Center for Behavioral Research & Services, California State University, Long Beach, 1090 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90813, 562-495-2330,, (2) Office of AIDS Programs and Policy, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, 600 S. Commonwealth Avenue., 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Objective: To explore gender differences in stimulant use, opiate use, and poly-drug use in a sample of out-of-treatment drug users. Methods: 635 out-of-treatment drug users were recruited between January 2001 and December 2002. Information on drug and sex risk behaviors was elicited using several standard questionnaires, including the Risk Behavior Assessment (RBA). Results: Over half (360/635) (57%) of the sample reported stimulant use (crack cocaine) and amphetamines) compared to opiate use exclusively (24/635) or use of both opiates and stimulants (142/635). Chi square analysis revealed statistically significant relationships between drug use and gender. Significantly more women reported opiate use than expected (c (1)=5.21, p=.02) when compared to men, and significantly more women reported exclusive use of crack than expected when compared to men c (1)=17.92, p=.0001). Gender differences in the use of amphetamines were not significant c (1)=.11, p=ns. Conclusion: A very large proportion of drug-using women in this sample prefer crack cocaine to other stimulants, indicating that female drug users in Long Beach continue to be part of the crack scene first described a decade ago. Male drug users use a wider variety of stimulants, including both crack cocaine and amphetamines. Women are also more likely to use opiates, indicating that women have a bi-modal distribution to their drug use (crack and opiates) while men are more likely to use only stimulants.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Drug Use, Drug Injectors

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.

Effects of Gender, Race; and Mental Health on Substance Abuse and Treatment Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA