Historical trends in the production and consumption of illicit drugs in Mexico: implications for the prevention of blood borne infections.

Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California-San Diego, San Diego, CA 92093, USA.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence (Impact Factor: 3.28). 10/2005; 79(3):281-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2005.02.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mexico has cultivated opium poppy since before the 1900's and has been an important transit route for South American cocaine for decades. However, only recently has drug use, particularly injection drug use, been documented as an important problem. Heroin is the most common drug used by Mexican injection drug users (IDUs). Increased cultivation of opium poppy in some Mexican states, lower prices for black tar heroin and increased security at U.S.-Mexican border crossings may be contributing factors to heroin use, especially in border cities. Risky practices among IDUs, including needle sharing and shooting gallery attendance are common, whereas perceived risk for acquiring blood borne infections is low. Although reported AIDS cases attributed to IDU in Mexico have been low, data from sentinel populations, such as pregnant women in the Mexican-U.S. border city of Tijuana, suggest an increase in HIV prevalence associated with drug use. Given widespread risk behaviors and rising numbers of blood borne infections among IDUs in Mexican-U.S. border cities, there is an urgent need for increased disease surveillance and culturally appropriate interventions to prevent potential epidemics of blood borne infections. We review available literature on the history of opium production in Mexico, recent trends in drug use and its implications, and the Mexican response, with special emphasis on the border cities of Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Injecting drugs in the neck has been related to adverse health conditions such as jugular vein thrombosis, deep neck infections, aneurysm, haematomas, airway obstruction, vocal cord paralysis and wound botulism, among others. We identified prevalence and correlates of neck injection among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Tijuana, Mexico. Beginning in 2011, PWID aged ≥18 years who injected drugs within the last month were recruited into a prospective cohort. At baseline and semi-annually, PWID completed interviewer-administered surveys soliciting data on drug-injecting practices. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors of injecting in the neck as the most frequent injection site at a single visit. Of 380 PWID, 35.3% injected in the neck at least once in the past 6 months, among whom 71.6% reported it as their most common injection site, the most common injecting site after the arms (47%). Controlling for age, years injecting and injecting frequency, injecting heroin and methamphetamine two or more times per day and having sought injection assistance were associated with injecting in the neck [adjusted odds ratios (AOR): 2.12; 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.27-3.53 and AOR: 2.65; 95% CI: 1.52-4.53 respectively]. Injecting in the neck was very common among PWID in Tijuana and was associated with polydrug use and seeking injection assistance. Tailoring harm reduction education interventions for individuals who provide injection assistance ('hit doctors') may allow for the dissemination of safe injecting knowledge to reduce injection-related morbidity and mortality. [Rafful C, Wagner KD, Werb D, González-Zúñiga PE, Verdugo S, Rangel G, Strathdee SA. Prevalence and correlates of neck injection among people who inject drugs in Tijuana, Mexico. Drug Alcohol Rev 2015]. © 2015 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.
    Drug and Alcohol Review 04/2015; DOI:10.1111/dar.12264 · 1.55 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Patterns of illicit narcotics cultivation are among the understudied topics. Some studies estimate the prevalence of illegal crops using imagery and remote sensing data. These studies rely heavily on the availability and quality of the related images, which is often an issue for many countries known as major drug producers. Using official drug crop eradication data, this study examines the patterns of illegal drug cultivation in Mexico at the municipality level. Species distribution models of ecology were used to guide the selection of environmental variables. A number of sociodemographic variables were incorporated into the model to describe human factors. Global and local models were compared to discern the determinants of marijuana and opium cultivation. Geographically weighted regression was proved overall more effective than global ordinary least square regression despite the spatial variation of its explanation power. The models explained the spatial patterns of opium poppy cultivation are better than those of marijuana cultivation, suggesting the possible presence of more complicated local factors for growing illicit marijuana crops. A number of human factors such as law enforcement, gang activities, and transportation accessibility were found significant for illicit cultivation.
    Cartography and Geographic Information Science 11/2014; DOI:10.1080/15230406.2014.985716 · 0.83 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: High dead-space syringes (HDSS) are believed to confer an elevated risk of acquiring HIV and other blood-borne infections. Objectives: We identified prevalence and correlates of HDSS use among injection drug users (IDU) in Tijuana, Mexico, where syringe purchase and possession is legal without a prescription. Methods: Beginning in 2011, IDU who reported being 18 years or older and injected drugs within the last month were recruited into a prospective study. At baseline and semi-annually, 557 IDU underwent HIV-testing and interviewer-administered surveys. Logistic regression was used to identify correlates of using HDSS. Results: Of 557 IDU, 40% had ever used HDSS, mostly because no other syringe type was available (72%), or because they were easier to get (20%). Controlling for sex and age at first injection, use of HDSS was associated with cocaine as the first drug injected (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR]: 2.68; Confidence Interval 95% [CI]: 1.15-6.22), having been stopped or arrested by police (AOR: 1.84; 95% CI: 1.11-3.07), being deported from the US (AOR: 1.64; 95% CI:1.06-2.53), and believing it is illegal to carry syringes (AOR:1.78; 95% CI: 1.01-3.15). Conclusion: Use of HDSS is surprisingly common among IDU in Tijuana. Efforts are needed to expand coverage of low-dead space syringes through existing syringe exchange programs. Education is required to increase awareness of the harms associated with HDSS, and to inform IDU that syringe possession is legal across Mexico.
    The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 02/2015; DOI:10.3109/00952990.2015.1011742 · 1.47 Impact Factor


Available from
May 23, 2014

Jesus A. Bucardo