227971 Exploring illicit drug use pre and post-deportation by Mexican male injection drug users

Monday, November 8, 2010

Victoria D. Ojeda, PhD, MPH , Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Angela Robertson, MPH , Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health (Global Health), San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Sarah Hiller , UCSD, La Jolla, CA
Maria Remedios Lozada, Dra , Patronato Pro-COMUSIDA, Tijuana, Mexico
Wayne Cornelius, PhD , Division of Global Public Health, UCSD, La Jolla, CA
Lawrence A. Palinkas, PhD , School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Steffanie Strathdee, PhD , Division of Global Public Health, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
OBJECTIVE: This pilot qualitative study describes illicit drug use behaviors among male injection drug users (IDUs) residing in Tijuana, Mexico who self-identified as deportees from the U.S. METHODS: Qualitative interviews with 24 men were conducted in Tijuana between October-November, 2008. Participants were male, ≥18 years, born in Mexico, resided in Tijuana, reported a history of deportation from the U.S., and had a history of injecting drugs. Content analysis identified major themes in participants' experiences. RESULTS: Few participants had personal or family exposures to illicit drugs prior to their first migration to the U.S. at ~18 years of age. Social (i.e., friends/ family, post-migration stressors) and environmental factors (e.g., drug availability) contributed to substance use initiation in the U.S. Drugs consumed in the U.S. included marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and crack. More than half of deportees were IDUs prior to deportation. Addiction and justice system experiences reportedly contributed to deportation. Several men injected new drugs, primarily heroin or methamphetamine, or a combination of both drugs post-deportation. Many men perceived an increase in their substance use after deportation and reported losing familial social and economic support. CONCLUSIONS: Social and environmental factors may promote substance use among Mexican migrant males, during and following migration and deportation. Mexico and U.S.-based programs for migrants may address mental health and safer drug use behaviors to reduce HIV risk practices. Special considerations are merited for substance users in correctional systems in the U.S. and Mexico. The health status and health behaviors of deportees are likely to impact receiving Mexican communities. Programs that address health, social, and economic issues may aid deportees in resettling in Mexico. Binational cooperation around migrant health issues may help decrease substance use and the transmission of blood borne infections among migrants, particularly deportees.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Paricipants will be able to describe illicit drug use practices of male deportees. 2. Paricipants will learn about and be able to describe the methods used to conduct this qualitative study.

Keywords: Drug Injectors, Latino Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the study PI and lead author
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.