The willingness of people who inject drugs in Boston to use a supervised injection facility

Casey León, Lena Cardoso, Sarah Mackin, Barry Bock, Jessie M. Gaeta (2017)

BACKGROUND: In Massachusetts, the number of opioid-related deaths has increased 350% since 2000. In the setting of increasing overdose deaths, one potential intervention is supervised injection facilities (SIFs). This study explores willingness of people who inject drugs in Boston to use a SIF and examines factors associated with willingness.
METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample of 237 people who inject drugs and utilize Boston's needle exchange program (NEP). The drop-in NEP provides myriad harm reduction services and referrals to addiction treatment. The survey was mostly self-administered (92%).
RESULTS: Results showed positive willingness to use a SIF was independently associated with use of heroin as main substance (odds ratio [OR]: 5.47; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.9–15.4; P = .0004), public injection (OR: 5.09; 95% CI: 1.8–14.3; P = .002), history of seeking substance use disorder (SUD) treatment (OR: 4.99; 95% CI: 1.2–21.1; P = .05), having heard of SIF (OR: 4.80; 95% CI: 1.6–14.8; P = .004), Hispanic ethnicity (OR: 4.22; 95% CI: 0.9–18.8; P = .04), frequent NEP use (OR: 4.18; 95% CI: 1.2–14.7; P = .02), current desire for SUD treatment (OR: 4.15; 95% CI: 1.2–14.7; P = .03), hepatitis C diagnosis (OR: 3.68; 95% CI: 1.2–10.1; P = .02), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis (OR: 3.27; 95% CI: 1.3–8.4; P = .01), report of at least 1 chronic medical diagnosis (hepatitis C, human immunodeficiency virus [HIV], hypertension, or diabetes) (OR: 3.27; 95% CI: 1.2–8.9; P = .02), and comorbid medical and mental health diagnoses (OR: 2.93; 95% CI: 1.2–7.4; P = .02).
CONCLUSIONS: Most respondents (91.4%) reported willingness to use a SIF. Respondents with substance use behavior reflecting high risk for overdose were significantly more likely to be willing to use a SIF. Respondents with behaviors that contribute to public health burden of injection drug use were also significantly more likely to be willing to use a SIF. Results indicate that this intervention would be well utilized by individuals who could most benefit from the model. As part of a broader public health approach, SIFs should be considered to reduce opioid overdose mortality, decrease public health burden of the opioid crisis, and promote access to addiction treatment and medical care.

The willingness of people who inject drugs in Boston to use a supervised injection facility

The willingness of people who inject drugs in Boston to use a supervised injection facility (550)

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