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Subst Use Misuse. 2000 Mar;35(4):551-83.

Substance misuse and related infectious diseases in a soup kitchen population.

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  • 1Institute for Treatment and Services Resarch, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., New York, New York 10048, USA.


Representative samples of female (N = 119) and male (N = 100) guests were selected at two inner city soup kitchens. In the preceding month, 75% used cocaine/crack and 25% used heroin/opiates as determined by hair analysis. Relatively few guests (25%) were in substance dependency treatment. Infectious disease rates were: HIV (16%), hepatitis B exposure (21%), hepatitis B carrier (6%), syphilis exposure (15%). Years of injecting drug use and homelessness/marginal housing were associated with HIV infection and hepatitis B exposure. Soup kitchens should be prime locations for outreach to cocaine/crack and heroin users in need of treatment, medical care, and interventions to prevent infectious disease transmission.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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