188140 Emerging Trends in Methamphetamine Use on the US-MEXICO Border

Monday, October 27, 2008: 12:50 PM

Michele Shedlin, PhD , College of Health Sciences & Hispanic Health Disparities Research Center, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Rebeca Ramos, MA, MPH , US-Mexico Border Health Association, El Paso, TX
Cross-border Mexico/US cities have been cited as important locations of methamphetamine trade and use. Our qualitative, exploratory research documents and describes emerging MA use among men and women in this Border context. In-depth interviews were conducted with 100 MA users from El Paso and Juarez and key informants. The semi-structured questionnaire development was guided by prior Border research in Juarez-El Paso and Tijuana. Interviews were taped, transcribed, themes identified and coded for content analysis in Spanish. Domains included: MA knowledge, patterns of use, use networks and settings, gender and age differences and HIV/STI risk behaviors. Themes identified included MA typology and sub-cultural vocabulary, modes of administration (injecting vs. smoking) and sexual practices influenced by MA use. Contextual factors with implications for other borders were explored. The presentation also draws upon a related recent study of the impact of new laws and policies on Border residents' access to, and utilization of, drug treatment. Data obtained illustrate the need for policies and programs which are culturally, subculturally and gender appropriate. Both data sets provide a perspective on the risks and sequelae of drug use for individuals and families on both sides of the Border. Because the tailoring of prevention and treatment depends on the identification of emerging trends in drug use and obstacles to prevention and treatment, these data can contribute to the development of more effective interventions and services for Border populations.

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives: 1. To identify emerging trends in drug use on the US-Mexico Border; 2. To illustrate the globalization of meth use by linguistic analysis; 3. To understand risks and sequelae of drug use for Hispanic communities on both sides of the Border to assist in developing more effective policies and programs.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have collaborated on the design, implementation and analysis of this research
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.