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

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

3325.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 4

Abstract #55699

Lifetime hallucinogen use is associated with early sexual initiation among street--recruited drug users in Harlem and the South Bronx

Danielle C. Ompad, PhD1, Sandro Galea, MD, MPH1, Mary Latka, PhD1, Crystal Fuller, MPH, PhD2, and David Vlahov, PhD1. (1) Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies, New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029, 212-419-3589,, (2) Division of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, 722 W. 168th Street, 4th floor, Room 422, New York, NY 10032

Objective: Recent studies have indicated that hallucinogen use (HU) occurs primarily among White adolescents, and that ecstasy is associated with risky sexual behavior. However, minority and economically-disadvantaged hallucinogen and ecstasy users may be overlooked by studies that rely on school attendance, telephone interviews, or venue-based recruitment. We investigated the prevalence of, and associations with HU among Black and Hispanic drug users in New York City.

Methods: Heroin, crack and cocaine users between ages 15-40 who had never injected (n= 490) or initiated injection drug use <=5 years prior (n=134) were recruited between 2000 and 2002. HU (LSD, ecstasy, mushrooms, peyote and/or mescaline use) was assessed through interviewer-administered questionnaires. Logistic regression was used to identify correlates of HU cross-sectionally.

Results: Among 624 drug users, 52.4% were Hispanic, 27.4% were Black and 10.2% were White or another race; 68.9% were male; and the median age was 29. Of these young drug users, 44.7% had a lifetime history of HU, of which 34.8% had used a hallucinogen at least once in the last 6 months. Prevalence of HU among Hispanics and Blacks was high (33.0% and 51.3%, respectively). Individuals with a lifetime HU history were 1.5 times more likely (95% confidence interval: 1.1, 2.2) to have sex before age 16 after adjusting for gender, race, and lifetime cocaine use.

Conclusions: HU is not uncommon among street-recruited Black and Hispanic drug users. Preliminary findings indicate that HU is associated with earlier initiation of sexual behaviors; however the association between HU and sexual behavior among minorities requires further research.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Drug Use, Ethnic Minorities

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 in Young Adult Drug Use and Risky Behaviors Poster Session

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