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Soc Work Public Health. 2015;30(4):385-96. doi: 10.1080/19371918.2015.1021024.

Drug use, hepatitis C, and service availability: perspectives of incarcerated rural women.

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a College of Social Work, University of Kentucky , Lexington , Kentucky , USA.


This study examined drug use, hepatitis C, and service availability and use among a high-risk sample of rural women serving time in jails. Data was collected from female offenders (N = 22) who participated in four focus groups in three rural jail facilities located in Appalachia. Findings indicated that drug misuse is prevalent in this impoverished area of the country, and that the primary route of administration of drug use is injection. Findings also indicate that injection drug use is also commonly associated with contracting hepatitis C (HCV), which is also perceived to be prevalent in the area. Despite knowledge associated with HCV risks, women in this sample were seemingly apathetic about the increasing spread of HCV in the area and unconcerned about the long-term consequences of the course of the infection. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.


Drug use; HCV; women

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