Document Detail

Transitions between routes of heroin administration: a study of Caucasian and Indochinese heroin users in south-western Sydney, Australia.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10665099     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
AIM: To examine patterns and correlates of routes of heroin use among Caucasian and Indochinese heroin users. DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred heroin users resident in South West Sydney. The sample was divided between Caucasian and Indochinese users (each n = 100), with half of each group on methadone maintenance. MEASUREMENTS: A semi-structured interview was administered, based on previous studies of transitions between routes of administration. Measures included patterns of drug use, transitions, social, health and legal issues and cultural correlates of use. FINDINGS: Almost two-thirds (61%) had smoked heroin. Smoking was more common among the Indochinese (40% were predominantly or exclusively smokers), although injecting was the dominant route for both groups. More than one-quarter (29%) had made a transition from smoking to injecting, primarily due to drug effect and perceived cost-effectiveness. Reverse transitions were rare. Smoking appeared to be more culturally acceptable than injecting among Indochinese users. Among both groups, there was a small but significant risk for the transmission of HIV and other blood-borne viruses. Polydrug use and age were positively associated with having experienced a non-fatal overdose. CONCLUSIONS: This research documents the existence of smoking as a popular route of administration among both Indochinese and Caucasian heroin users in the study sample. There is an urgent need to provide smokers and injectors with information explaining the potential risks and ways to minimize harms associated with both routes of use.
W Swift; L Maher; S Sunjic
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Addiction (Abingdon, England)     Volume:  94     ISSN:  0965-2140     ISO Abbreviation:  Addiction     Publication Date:  1999 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-02-17     Completed Date:  2000-02-17     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9304118     Medline TA:  Addiction     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  71-82     Citation Subset:  IM; X    
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of NSW, Sydney, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Age Distribution
Age of Onset
Australia / ethnology
China / ethnology
Cross-Sectional Studies
Drug Administration Routes
European Continental Ancestry Group
Heroin / administration & dosage*
Heroin Dependence / ethnology*
Interpersonal Relations
New South Wales / epidemiology
Risk Factors
Sex Distribution
Smoking / ethnology*
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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