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Addict Behav. 2019 Oct;97:42-48. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.05.022. Epub 2019 May 21.

A gender-based analysis of nonmedical prescription opioid use among people who use illicit drugs.

Author information

1
Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Blusson Hall, Room 11300, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada; British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada. Electronic address: tessac@sfu.ca.
2
British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada. Electronic address: ekaterina.nosova@bccsu.ubc.ca.
3
Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Blusson Hall, Room 11300, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada; British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada; Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction, SFU Faculty of Health Sciences, 515 W. Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3, Canada. Electronic address: wsmall@sfu.ca.
4
Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Blusson Hall, Room 11300, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada; British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada. Electronic address: rhogg@sfu.ca.
5
Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Blusson Hall, Room 11300, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada; British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada. Electronic address: bccsu-kh@bccsu.ubc.ca.
6
British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada; School of Public Policy, Simon Fraser University, 515 West Hastings Street, Suite 3271, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3, Canada. Electronic address: bccsu-kd@bccsu.ubc.ca.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Research investigating the unique impacts associated with engaging in nonmedical prescription opioid use (NMPOU) among males and females who also use illicit drugs is needed.

METHODS:

Data were collected between 2013 and 2017 from two linked prospective cohort studies in Vancouver: the At-Risk Youth Study and Vancouver Injection Drug Users Study. Generalized estimating equations were used to identify factors associated with engaging in NMPOU among females and males separately.

RESULTS:

Among 1459 participants, 534 were female (37%). Similar proportions of females (46%) and males (48%) engaged in NMPOU at their first visit during the study period. In multivariable analyses, factors associated with NMPOU among both males and females included heroin use, overdose, drug dealing, and difficulty accessing health and social services. Among females, those who engaged in NMPOU were more likely to report Caucasian or white ethnicity, cocaine use, crystal methamphetamine use, and sex work; among males, those who engaged in NMPOU were older, reported crack use and engaged in binge drug use (all p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION:

The prevalence of NMPOU was similar among males and females who use illicit drugs in Vancouver, and NMPOU was independently associated with markers of vulnerability among both genders. Findings highlight the need for a comprehensive public health approach to address NMPOU that integrates overdose prevention and reversal services, employment opportunities, and better access to services for both women and men.

KEYWORDS:

Addictions; Gender; Prescription opioid; Risk behavior

PMID:
31146150
PMCID:
PMC6586247
[Available on 2020-10-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.05.022

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