200119 Social network characteristics and binge drinking among women who use drugs

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:24 AM

Andrea Frydl, CHES , Tobacco Control Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Melissa A. Davey-Rothwell, PhD, CHES , Department of Health, Behavior & Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Carl Latkin, PhD , Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Introduction: Binge drinking, having 6 or more drinks on one occasion is often viewed as a practice among youth and college students only. However, binge drinking is a prevalent behavior among adults, including drug users. Since the cumulative effect of both drug use and binge drinking has many negative consequences on one's health, research is needed to identify factors associated with binge drinking. Binge drinking often occurs in the presence of others. Thus, examining one's social environment and social networks is important to understanding this risk behavior. Methods: We examined the relationship between social network characteristics and binge drinking in a sample of women who use drugs in Baltimore, MD. Data were gathered at baseline and 6- month follow- up from 2005-2008. All data was captured through self-report in the form of surveys and interviews. Results: Preliminary and baseline analyses show that binge drinking is associated with both structure (i.e. number of drug users in the network) and function (e.g. number of individuals who offer social support) of one's social network. Analyses of follow-up data will be conducted to identify which social network characteristics predict binge drinking. Conclusion: These data will offer insight on how social-network based interventions may decrease risky behaviors.

Learning Objectives:
1. To describe the phenomenon of binge drinking among chronic drug users, rather than college students only. 2. To assess how social networks influence binge drinking behavior and how to best intervene for behavior change programs. 3. To identify the prevalence of binge drinking among urban female drug users.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an expert in Health Behavior and Health Education through Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. I have several years of expertise working in interventions catered to behavior change.
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.