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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2005 Dec 12;80(3):297-302. Epub 2005 Jun 14.

Heroin overdose among young injection drug users in San Francisco.

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  • 1University of California, San Francisco General Hospital, 995 Potrero Avenue, Building 90, Ward 95, Room 513, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We sought to identify prevalence and predictors of heroin-related overdose among young injection drug users (IDU).

METHODS:

A total of 795 IDU under age of 30 years were interviewed in four neighbourhoods in San Francisco, California, USA. Participants were recruited as part of a broader study of HIV, hepatitis B and C among injecting drug users in San Francisco using street outreach and snowball techniques. Independent predictors of recent heroin overdose requiring intervention were determined using regression analysis.

RESULTS:

Of 795 injecting drug users under age of 30 years, 22% (174/795) of participants reported a heroin overdose in the last year. In stepwise multiple logistic regression, independent predictors of recent heroin overdose were lifetime incarceration exceeding 20 months (odds ratio (OR) = 2.99, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.52-5.88); heroin injection in the last 3 months (OR = 4.89, 95% CI = 2.03-11.74); cocaine injection in the last 3 months (OR = 1.67, 95% CI = 1.14-2.45); injection of heroin mixed with methamphetamine in the last 3 months (OR = 1.74, 95% CI = 1.15-2.65); ever tested for hepatitis B or C (OR = 1.66 per year, CI = 1.09-2.54) and ever having witnessed another person overdose (OR = 2.89, 95% CI = 1.76-4.73).

CONCLUSIONS:

Individuals with high levels of incarceration are at great risk of overdose, and prison or jail should be considered a primary intervention site. Further research on the role of cocaine and amphetamine in heroin-related overdose is indicated.

PMID:
15961257
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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