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    ABSTRACT: Health Related Quality of Life (HRQL) of opiate users has been studied in treatment settings, where assistance for drug use was sought. In this study we ascertain factors related to HRQL of young opiate users recruited outside treatment facilities, considering both genders separately. Current opiate users (18-30 y) were recruited in outdoor settings in three Spanish cities (Barcelona, Madrid, Seville). Standardised laptop interviews included socio-demographic data, drug use patterns, health related issues, the Severity of Dependence Scale (SDS) and the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP). A total of 991 subjects (73% males), mean age = 25.7 years were interviewed. The mean global NHP score differed by gender (women: 41.2 (sd:23.8); men:34.1(sd:23.6);p < 0.05). Multivariate analysis was implemented separately by gender, variables independently related with global NHP score, both for males and females, were heroin and cocaine SDS scores. For women, only other drug related variables (alcohol intake and length of cocaine use) were independently associated with their HRQL. HIV+ males who suffered an opiate overdose or had psychiatric care in the last 12 months perceived their health as poorer, while those who had ever been in methadone treatment in the last 12 months perceived it as better. The model with both genders showed all factors for males plus quantity of alcohol and an interaction between gender and HIV status. Heroin users were found to be at a considerable risk of impaired HRQL, even in these young ages. A score approaching severity of dependence was the factor with the strongest relation with it.
    Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 01/2010; 8:145. · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This article reports on the ethnographical study carried out among an opiate consumer community in Barcelona (Spain) and analyses the meanings that those consumers build and handle around the substances that they consume. Our approach emphasises the point of view of the consumers in their understanding of drugs and the type of relationships that they maintain between themselves and with their social environment.
    07/2009; 16(5):434-452.
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    ABSTRACT: To identify the self-perceived reasons for unintentional opioid overdose of young heroin users in three Spanish cities and their agreement with objective risk factors for overdose. Computer-Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI) were held with 991 street-recruited current heroin users aged 18-30. The general reasons for overdose and the reasons for the last overdose suffered were explored with open-ended (OEQs) and pre-coded questions (PCQs). Limited knowledge of overdose risk factors was defined as mention of fewer than two objective risk factors for unintentional overdose in the OEQ. Univariate, bivariate, and logistic regression methods were used. 77.8% (Seville), 64.9% (Madrid) and 57.2% (Barcelona) of participants have limited knowledge of overdose risk factors. Residence in Seville and not having attended courses or meetings on overdoses were significantly associated with limited knowledge, after adjusting for other factors. The most frequently identified general reasons in OEQ or PCQ were using heroin in large amounts (66.8%), together with tranquilizers (62.0%), adulterated (60.7%), or purer than usual (57.6%). Most reasons were selected more frequently in PCQ than in OEQ, especially rapid injection of the entire dose and using heroin shortly after using tranquilizers or alcohol, by injection, or after a period of abstinence. The results were similar for overdoses suffered by participants. Most young heroin users do not have sufficient knowledge of overdose risk factors, especially the use of heroin by injection, after a period of abstinence, or together with alcohol or methadone. Specific informational or educational programs adapted to the local context are critically needed.
    Journal of Urban Health 06/2006; 83(3):477-96. · 1.89 Impact Factor