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Addict Behav. 2018 Jan;76:20-26. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.07.017. Epub 2017 Jul 18.

Injection drug use and overdose among young adults who use prescription opioids non-medically.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Brown University School of Public Health, 121 South Main Street, Box G-S-121-4, Providence, RI 02912, USA. Electronic address: elliott_liebling@brown.edu.
2
Department of Epidemiology, Brown University School of Public Health, 121 South Main Street, Box G-S-121-4, Providence, RI 02912, USA; Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, 771 Albany Street, Room 1208, Boston, MA 02118, USA; The Warren Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, 55 Claverick Street, Providence, RI 02903, USA. Electronic address: traci_green@brown.edu.
3
Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, 88 East Newton Street, Vose Hall Room 322, Boston, MA 02118, USA; Department of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, 850 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118, USA. Electronic address: scott.hadland@bmc.org.
4
Department of Epidemiology, Brown University School of Public Health, 121 South Main Street, Box G-S-121-4, Providence, RI 02912, USA. Electronic address: brandon_marshall@brown.edu.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Non-medical prescription opioid (NMPO) use is a critical public health problem in the United States, with 2.1 million new initiates annually. Young adult NMPO users are at high risk for initiating injection drug use. We assessed correlates of injection drug use among young adult NMPO users in Rhode Island, a state heavily impacted by opioid overdose.

METHODS:

We used data from the Rhode Island Young Adult Prescription Drug Study (RAPiDS), which recruited 199 residents aged 18-29 who reported past-30-day NMPO use (65.3% male). We compared individuals who reported ever having injected with individuals who reported never injecting, using logistic regression to identify independent correlates of injection.

RESULTS:

Among eligible participants, the mean age was 24.6years and 61.3% were white. Over one-quarter (n=59, 29.6%) of the sample had ever injected drugs. The majority (n=46, 78.0%) of participants who had ever injected drugs reported injecting heroin as her/his first drug; the majority also reported previously snorting her/his first drug that was injected (n=46, 78.0%). In multivariable analyses, white race, older age, lifetime homelessness, and ever having overdosed or seen someone overdose were independently associated with an increased likelihood of ever injecting drugs.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings demonstrate a high prevalence of lifetime injection drug use among young adults who use prescription opioids non-medically. Given the observed associations between injection drug use and witnessing as well as experiencing overdose, interventions are urgently needed to improve overdose education and naloxone distribution to young adult NMPO users who inject drugs.

KEYWORDS:

Injection; Non-medical use; Overdose; Prescription opioids; Young adults

PMID:
28735037
PMCID:
PMC5614848
DOI:
10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.07.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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