Document Detail

How constant is an individual's route of heroin administration? Data from treatment and non-treatment samples.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9246559     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Three routes of heroin use were identified--injecting, 'chasing the dragon' and snorting. Whilst injecting and 'chasing the dragon' accounted for virtually all current heroin use, snorting had been the first route of use for nearly a fifth of heroin users in both the treatment and community samples. Overlap of lifetime experience of the different routes was widespread, with the majority of heroin users in both the treatment and community samples having used heroin by more than one route. Although less than half of the treatment sample had used heroin by injection on the first occasion, more than 90% had injected at least once, and over 80% had at some time used by 'chasing the dragon'. Only a quarter of the community sample had first used heroin by injecting, and yet, by the time of interview, two-thirds of the sample had injected. The majority of durable changes in route of heroin use were towards injecting and 'chasing the dragon', with transitions to snorting being extremely rare. For both the samples, transitions to injecting were twice as frequent as transitions to 'chasing'. Snorting appeared to be an unstable route of use, with almost all who initially snorted their heroin now using by injecting or 'chasing the dragon'.
J Strang; P Griffiths; B Powis; J Abbey; M Gossop
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Drug and alcohol dependence     Volume:  46     ISSN:  0376-8716     ISO Abbreviation:  Drug Alcohol Depend     Publication Date:  1997 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-09-30     Completed Date:  1997-09-30     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7513587     Medline TA:  Drug Alcohol Depend     Country:  IRELAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  115-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
National Addiction Centre, Maudsley/Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Administration, Inhalation
Administration, Intranasal
Cross-Sectional Studies
England / epidemiology
Heroin / administration & dosage*
Heroin Dependence / epidemiology,  psychology,  rehabilitation*
Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
Substance Abuse, Intravenous / epidemiology,  psychology,  rehabilitation*
Reg. No./Substance:

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