Assessing non-injecting heroin use in Birmingham, UK : a comparison of characteristics and reasons for non-injecting in samples of never-injected and formerly-injecting heroin users in contact with adult drug treatment

SMITH, A. C., BEST, David and DAY, E. (2009). Assessing non-injecting heroin use in Birmingham, UK : a comparison of characteristics and reasons for non-injecting in samples of never-injected and formerly-injecting heroin users in contact with adult drug treatment. Journal of Drug Issues, 39 (3), 477-493.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/002204260903900302
Link to published version:: 10.1177/002204260903900302

Abstract

Aims: To explore reasons why individuals who prefer to use heroin by routes other than injection have abstained from injecting despite entrenched heroin use. Methods: A cross-sectional interview using structured and semi-structured questions was carried out with 40 non-injecting heroin users (20 former injectors and 20 who had never injected) recruited at two Community Drug Team sites in Birmingham, UK. Results: The most endorsed reason for non-injection was worry about appearance. Additional reasons included identity issues and stigmatized status of injecting. ‘Never injectors’ were younger (p<0.05), more likely to have an educational qualification (OR: 4.89; 95% CI: 1.20, 19.94), had higher measured heroin dependence (p=0.05) and lower prior exposure to injecting (p<0.001) than former injectors. There was no difference between the groups in estimated prevalence of injection among peers. Conclusions: This study points to continuity between injecting and non-injecting cultures, challenges the concept of injection as a natural progression from non-injecting heroin use, and highlights personal addiction career factors in injection transitions.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Law and Criminology Research Group
Identification Number: 10.1177/002204260903900302
Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2015 11:49
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2015 11:49
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9375

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