Injection drug users report good access to pharmacy sale of syringes.
ABSTRACT To examine injection drug users (IDUs) opinions and behavior regarding purchase of sterile syringes from pharmacies.
Urban and rural sites in Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Missouri.
Eight focus groups, with 4 to 15 IDU participants per group.
Transcripts of focus group discussions were evaluated for common themes by the authors and through the use of the software program NUD*IST.
Knowledge of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), pharmacy use, barriers to access from pharmacies, high-risk and risk-reducing behavior, and rural/urban difference.
Almost all participants knew the importance of using sterile syringes for disease prevention and reported buying syringes from pharmacies more than from any other source. Two IDUs believed pharmacists knew the syringes were being used for injecting drugs and perceived pharmacists' sales of syringes to be an attempt to contribute to HIV prevention. Most IDUs reported that sterile syringes were relativity easy to buy from pharmacies, but most also reported barriers to access, such as having to buy in packs of 50 or 100, being made to sign a book, having to make up a story about being diabetic, or having the feeling that the pharmacists were demeaning them. While the majority of IDUs reported properly cleaning or not sharing syringes and safely disposing of them, others reported inadequate cleaning of syringes and instances of sharing syringes or of improper disposal. There were few differences in IDUs' reported ability to buy syringes among states or between urban and rural sites, although the data suggest that IDUs could buy syringes more easily in the urban settings.
For the most part, participants understood the need for sterile syringes in order to protect themselves from HIV, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus and saw pharmacies as the best source of sterile syringes. Although these data are not generalizable, they suggest that pharmacists can and do serve as HIV-prevention service providers in their communities.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Joseph L. Fink III, Jan 05, 2015
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Article: Injection drug users report good access to pharmacy sale of syringes.
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ABSTRACT: Objective: To compare demographic and injecting characteristics of clients collecting needle syringes from needle syringe programmes (NSPs) and pharmacies. Methods: Clients obtaining needle syringes from three NSPs and one pharmacy in the same geographic area during one and four weeks, respectively were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire. Results: Approximately half the 336 NSP (56%) and 63 pharmacy (49%) respondents reported using both NSPs and pharmacies in the past month. NSP and pharmacy respondents were similar on many characteristics: male gender (60 and 62%, respectively); median age (30 years for both groups); median age at first injection (18 years both groups); history of methadone treatment (62 and 53%); and heroin as the last drug injected (60 and 59%). NSP respondents were more likely than pharmacy respondents to report imprisonment in the previous year (20% versus 8%, P = 0.05), daily injection (67% versus 56%, P = 0.09) and re-use of more than one other person's needle syringe in the previous month (27% versus 7% of 52 and 15 reporting needle syringe re-use). Pharmacy respondents were more likely than NSP respondents to report amphetamine use (32% versus 10%, P < 0.001), shared use of tourniquets (24% versus 12%, P=0.01), spoons (43% versus 32%, P=0.09), filters (22% versus 15%, P = 0.1), or drug mix (16% versus 9%, P=0.1), and difficulty finding a vein (73% versus 26%, P < 0.001). Conclusion: The risk profile of IDUs (Injecting Drug Users) recruited at various sites provides important information for behavioural surveillance and health promotion efforts. Increased convenience of needle syringe access enhances HIV prevention efforts, however, appropriate education is required for people obtaining needle syringes at pharmacies to reduce sharing of injecting equipment other than needle syringes. copyright 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.International Journal of Drug Policy 12/2003; 14(5-6):425-430. DOI:10.1016/j.drugpo.2003.06.001 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Opportunistic infections (OIs) were first recognized among injection drug users (IDUs) in New York City in 1981. By the mid-1980s, OIs had become associated with HIV infection, and attention began to focus on efforts to prevent HIV transmission among IDUs. Since then, a range of prevention strategies has been implemented and evaluated in an attempt to reduce the spread of HIV infection among drug users. These prevention strategies include (1) HIV testing and counseling and educational and behavioral interventions delivered through community outreach; (2) condom, bleach, and needle distribution and syringe access and exchange programs; (3) substance abuse treatment; and, more recently, (4) prevention interventions targeting HIV-positive IDUs. Data from evaluations of these strategies over the past 20 years have provided substantial evidence of effectiveness and have helped to inform network-based and structural interventions. Despite the cumulative empirical evidence, however, research findings have yet to be widely disseminated, adopted, and implemented in a sustained and integrated fashion. The reasons for this are unclear, but point to a need for improved communications with program developers and community planners to facilitate the implementation and evaluation of integrated intervention strategies, and for collaborative research to help understand policy, legal, economic, and local barriers to implementation.Journal of Urban Health 01/2004; 80(4 Suppl 3):iii59-66. DOI:10.1093/jurban/jtg083 · 1.94 Impact Factor