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HIV Needle Risk Behaviors and Drug Use: A Comparison of Crack-Smoking and Nonsmoking Injection Drug Users in Ohio

NCJ Number
Journal of Psychoactive Drugs Volume: 31 Issue: 3 Dated: July-September 1999 Pages: 291-297
Robert G. Carlson Ph.D.; Russel S. Falck M.A.; Jichuan Wang Ph.D.; Harvey A, Siegal Ph.D.; Ahmmed Rahman B.S.
Date Published
September 1999
This study compared drug use and needle risk behaviors of 733 crack-smoking injection drug users (IDUs) and 518 nonsmoking IDUs in two Ohio cities: Dayton and Columbus.
Participants were recruited for the study between 1992 and 1996 based on three criteria: (1) recent drug injection and/or crack use as verified by positive urine test results for opiates and/or cocaine; (2) being at least 18 years of age; and (3) having no formal drug treatment participation in the 30 days before the baseline interview. Univariate statistics and chi-square tests for differences in proportions were used to examine characteristics of the two groups and compare their drug use and needle risk behaviors. It was found that crack-smoking IDUs were more likely to be male, black, and between 30 and 40 years of age but less likely to be married or living with a sex partner compared to nonsmokers. Daily crack users were less likely to be daily injectors but more likely to use alcohol daily when compared to non-crack users and less than daily crack smokers. IDUs who smoked crack less than daily were more likely to have injected with needles and syringes used by others. The authors conclude that there is an urgent need for additional research on the relationship between drug injection and crack smoking and on improved HIV-risk reduction interventions that include drug treatment components focused on issues surrounding crack-cocaine addiction. 32 references, 2 notes, and 3 tables