244769 Social support and recovery efforts among Mexican female sex workers who inject drugs

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sarah Hiller, MPIA , Department of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Steffanie Strathdee, PhD , Division of Global Public Health, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Maria Remedios Lozada, Dra , Patronato Pro-COMUSIDA, Tijuana, Mexico
Angela Robertson, MPH , Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health (Global Health), San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Jennifer Syvertsen , University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Thomas Patterson, PhD , Dept of Psychiatry, University of California, La Jolla, CA
Victoria D. Ojeda, PhD, MPH , Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Social support research on female sex workers who inject drugs (FSW-IDUs) is scarce. We aim to describe: (1) the social support that FSW-IDUs receive from family and intimate partners, and (2) participants' beliefs regarding the relationship between social support, drug use and recovery. In 2009, we purposefully recruited 47 FSW-IDUs from an HIV risk reduction intervention study in Tijuana, Mexico. Semi-structured interviews were digitally recorded. We coded the transcribed interviews using atlas.TI, and used data reduction and descriptive analysis techniques to elucidate emergent themes. On average, participants were 36 years old, and initiated drug use at age 17, sex work at age 21, and injection drug use at age 22. Participants gave examples of positive (i.e., encouraging recovery) and negative (i.e., enabling maintained/ increased drug use) instrumental and emotional social support, and the absence or removal of support, and consequences for drug use and recovery efforts. Women received financial, childcare, and housing support, and emotional support in the form of respect, caring, and companionship. Problematic social support was identified as positive support causing emotional discomfort, guilt or shame among participants, which they believed led to greater chance of relapse. Drug recovery interventions targeting FSW-IDUs may benefit from addressing the social network dynamics affecting substance use and rehabilitation activities. Incorporating family therapy techniques and social support into Mexican drug treatment programs can be considered in this era of post-drug policy reform expansion of rehabilitation services. Findings should be replicated in a larger study.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the social support that FSW-IDUs receive from family and intimate partners. Identify participantsí beliefs regarding the relationship between social support, drug use and recovery.

Keywords: Substance Abuse Treatment, Sex Workers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a project manager and a doctoral student working on the study that the data for this article is drawn from.
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.