Circumstances of First Injection Among Illicit Drug Users Accessing a Medically Supervised Safer Injection Facility

Thomas Kerr, Mark W. Tyndall, Ruth Zhang, Calvin Lai, Julio S.G. Montaner, Evan Wood (2007)

There have been concerns that safer injecting facilities may promote initiation into injection drug use. We examined length of injecting career and circumstances surrounding initiation into injection drug use among 1065 users of North America’s first safer injecting facility and found that the median years of injection drug use were 15.9 years, and that only 1 individual reported performing a first injection at the safer injecting facility. These findings indicate that the safer injecting facility’s benefits have not been offset by a rise in initiation into injection drug use.
METHODS: First, we examined length of injecting career. To avoid the potential bias resulting from participants’ potential unwillingness to report that their first injection was within the safer injecting facility, we calculated duration of injection drug use by subtracting each participant’s age at first injection from the participant’s current age rather than asking this question directly. Later in the interview, we assessed the circumstances surrounding initiation into injection drug use among SEOSI participants. Variables of interest included injection by someone else during first injection, injection with a used syringe during first injection, and location of first injection (including within the safer injecting facility). As a subanalysis, we compared the overall rate of initiation into injection drug use among SEOSI participants since the safer injecting facility had opened with the expected rate of initiation among local street youths during a similar follow-up period.

Circumstances of First Injection Among Illicit Drug Users Accessing a Medically Supervised Safer Injection Facility

Circumstances of First Injection Among Illicit Drug Users Accessing a Medically Supervised Safer Injection Facility (362)

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