Patterns of drug dependence in a Queensland (Australia) sample of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who inject drugs

Smirnov, Andrew, Kemp, Robert, Ward, James, Henderson, Suzanna, Williams, Sidney, Dev, Abhilash and Najman, Jake M. (2016) Patterns of drug dependence in a Queensland (Australia) sample of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who inject drugs. Drug and Alcohol Review, 35 5: 611-619. doi:10.1111/dar.12392


Author Smirnov, Andrew
Kemp, Robert
Ward, James
Henderson, Suzanna
Williams, Sidney
Dev, Abhilash
Najman, Jake M.
Title Patterns of drug dependence in a Queensland (Australia) sample of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who inject drugs
Journal name Drug and Alcohol Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1465-3362
0959-5236
Publication date 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/dar.12392
Volume 35
Issue 5
Start page 611
End page 619
Total pages 9
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Introduction and Aims
Despite over-representation of Indigenous Australians in sentinel studies of injecting drug use, little is known about relevant patterns of drug use and dependence. This study compares drug dependence and possible contributing factors in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians who inject drugs.

Design and Methods
Respondent-driven sampling was used in major cities and ‘peer recruitment’ in regional towns of Queensland to obtain a community sample of Indigenous (n = 282) and non-Indigenous (n = 267) injectors. Data are cross sectional. Multinomial models were developed for each group to examine types of dependence on injected drugs (no dependence, methamphetamine-dependent only, opioid-dependent only, dependent on methamphetamine and opioids).

Results
Around one-fifth of Indigenous and non-Indigenous injectors were dependent on both methamphetamine and opioids in the previous 12 months. Psychological distress was associated with dual dependence on these drugs for Indigenous [adjusted relative risk (ARR) 4.86, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.08–11.34] and non-Indigenous (ARR 4.14, 95% CI 1.59–10.78) participants. Unemployment (ARR 8.98, 95% CI 2.25–35.82) and repeated (> once) incarceration as an adult (ARR 3.78, 95% CI 1.43–9.97) were associated with dual dependence for Indigenous participants only. Indigenous participants had high rates of alcohol dependence, except for those dependent on opioids only.

Discussion and Conclusions
The drug dependence patterns of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who inject drugs were similar, including the proportions dependent on both methamphetamine and opioids. However, for Indigenous injectors, there was a stronger association between drug dependence and contextual factors such as unemployment and incarceration. Expansion of treatment options and community-level programs may be required. [Smirnov A, Kemp R, Ward J, Henderson S, Williams S, Dev A, Najman J M. Patterns of drug dependence in a Queensland (Australia) sample of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who inject drugs.
Keyword Intravenous drug abuse
Substance Dependence
Indigenous population
Australia
Social determinants of health
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Public Health Publications
School of Social Science Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 02 Jun 2016, 15:04:55 EST by Dr Andrew Smirnov on behalf of School of Public Health