141st APHA Annual Meeting

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Un jalón, un volteón y otra vez: High risk crack smoking paraphernalia in méxico city

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:30 PM - 4:50 PM

Alice Cepeda, Ph.D. , School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Avelardo Valdez, Ph.D. , School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Guillermina Natera-Rey, Ph.D. , Departamento de Investigaciones Psicosociales, Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz, Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico
The smoking of crack is a recent emerging phenomenon in Mexico. To date, limited information is available on how the practice of smoking crack has emerged and spread among local drug using subpopulations. Using analytical constructs from the Diffusion of Innovation Theory, this presentation provides an understanding of the complex processes associated with the emergence, initiation an adoption of crack use. We document the high risk practices of use including preparation and paraphernalia utilized by this subpopulation of crack users. In-depth semi-structured ethnographic interviews were conducted with 150 male and female adult current crack users from neighborhoods in three delegaciónes (boroughs) in México DF. Qualitative results reveal a wide array of paraphernalia ranging largely from makeshift items (i.e. soda cans, glass droppers, TV or car antennas, etc.) to neighborhood store bought pipes. Common patterns of paraphernalia sharing were observed, in particular among those subjects reporting daily use of crack. Subjects describe a deep-seated subculture that is sustained by easily accessible street level crack market and an extensive network that fosters the adoption of unsafe paraphernalia practices of smoking. Findings point to potential social and health risks associated with paraphernalia practices that have not been addressed in the existing international literature. Our data will contribute to the development of theory based HIV and STI interventions for crack using high risk populations in Mexico. These data will also contribute to designing peer-based brief interventions that address social and contextual factors associated with the innovation and diffusion of crack use in México DF.

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

Learning Objectives:
List specific types of paraphernalia used by crack smokers in Mexico City. Describe the influence social networks and the existing drug market has on unsafe paraphernalia practices. Discuss how the Diffusion of Innovation Theory can contribute to HIV/STI interventions for crack smokers in an international context.

Keywords: Drug Abuse, Latino

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been principal or co-principal investigator on multiple National Institutes of Health federally funded grants focusing on the social epidemiology of drug use and the related health risk behaviors that disproportionately affect urban Mexican-origin minority populations in the U.S. and Mexico.
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.