The relationship between age and risky injecting behaviours among a sample of Australian people who inject drugs

Horyniak, D., Dietze, P., Degenhardt, L., Higgs, P., McIlwraith, F., Alati, R., Bruno, R., Lenton, S. and Burns, L. (2013) The relationship between age and risky injecting behaviours among a sample of Australian people who inject drugs. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 132 3: 541-546. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.03.021


Author Horyniak, D.
Dietze, P.
Degenhardt, L.
Higgs, P.
McIlwraith, F.
Alati, R.
Bruno, R.
Lenton, S.
Burns, L.
Title The relationship between age and risky injecting behaviours among a sample of Australian people who inject drugs
Journal name Drug and Alcohol Dependence   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0376-8716
1879-0046
Publication date 2013-10-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.03.021
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 132
Issue 3
Start page 541
End page 546
Total pages 6
Place of publication Shannon, Co. Clare Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Language eng
Abstract Background: Limited evidence suggests that younger people who inject drugs (PWID) engage in high-risk injecting behaviours. This study aims to better understand the relationships between age and risky injecting behaviours.
Formatted abstract
Background: Limited evidence suggests that younger people who inject drugs (PWID) engage in high-risk injecting behaviours. This study aims to better understand the relationships between age and risky injecting behaviours.

Methods:
Data were taken from 11 years of a repeat cross-sectional study of sentinel samples of regular PWID (The Australian Illicit Drug Reporting System, 2001-2011). Multivariable Poisson regression was used to explore the relationship between age and four outcomes of interest: last drug injection occurred in public, receptive needle sharing (past month), experiencing injecting-related problems (e.g. abscess, dirty hit; past month), and non-fatal heroin overdose (past six months).

Results: Data from 6795 first-time study participants were analysed (median age: 33 years, interquartile range [IQR]: 27-40; median duration of injecting: 13 years [IQR: 7-20]). After adjusting for factors including duration of injecting, each five year increase in age was associated with significant reductions in public injecting (adjusted incidence rate ratio [AIRR]: 0.90, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.88-0.92), needle sharing (AIRR: 0.84, 95% CI: 0.79-0.89) and injecting-related problems (AIRR: 0.96, 95% CI: 0.95-0.97). Among those who had injected heroin in the six months preceding interview, each five year increase in age was associated with an average 10% reduction in the risk of heroin overdose (AIRR: 0.90, 95% CI: 0.85-0.96).

Conclusions:
Older PWID report significantly lower levels of high-risk injecting practices than younger PWID. Although they make up a small proportion of the current PWID population, younger PWID remain an important group for prevention and harm reduction.
Keyword Age
Injecting drug use
Australia
Overdose
Injury
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID 1012485
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences -- Publications
Official 2014 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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