259568 Violence-related injury: The role of alcohol and other drugs

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rachael A. Korcha, MA , Alcohol Research Group, Emeryville, CA
Cheryl J. Cherpitel, DrPH , Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA
Jason Bond, PhD , Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA
Yu Ye, MS , Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA
Jane Witbrodt, PhD , Public Health Institute, Alcohol Research Group, Emeryville, CA
The positive relationship between alcohol use and violence-related injury is well established, yet less is known about alcohol use in combination with other drugs and the risk of a violence-related injury. The present study examined self-reported alcohol and illicit drug use among injured emergency department (ED) patients. We hypothesized that the risk of a violence-related injury will be greater for patients consuming both alcohol and drugs prior to the injury than for patients using either substance alone. Self-report information on alcohol and illicit drug use in the six hours prior to the injury were collected, along with information as to whether the injury was violence related in probability samples of patients 18 years and older from 14 ED studies (N=6,697) in 8 countries. The odds of sustaining a violence-related injury, compared to an unintentional injury, increased with alcohol and drug use. While patients consuming alcohol prior to injury were over five times more likely to sustain a violence-related injury, patients using both alcohol and drugs were nearly six times more likely to have a violence-related injury. Women were at higher risk than men, being over ten times more likely to present to the ED with a violence-related injury if they reported use of alcohol with other drugs. Findings suggest the ED is an ideal setting to identify those at risk for violence-related injuries due to alcohol and drug use, and screening for substance abuse and intervention efforts are needed in this setting with special consideration toward populations vulnerable to violence.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
to understand the relationship of drugs and alcohol to the risk of violence-related injury

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked in addiction research for the past 20 years and the past 3 years on injury, alcohol and drug use in emergency departments.
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.