Profile of lifetime methamphetamine use among homeless adults in Los Angeles

University of California, Los Angeles, School of Nursing, Room 2-250, Factor Building, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1702, USA.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence (Impact Factor: 3.42). 02/2008; 92(1-3):277-81. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2007.06.015
Source: PubMed


Although the dramatic rise of methamphetamine use in the general population has been well-documented, little is known about methamphetamine use in the homeless population. This study examines self-reported methamphetamine use and its correlates among a sample of 664 urban homeless adults in Los Angeles. Over one-quarter of the overall sample, and 60% of whites, disclosed lifetime methamphetamine use. Less than 10% of African-Americans reported ever using methamphetamine. Approximately one-tenth of respondents reported current methamphetamine use; almost 90% of current users shared straws to snort methamphetamine and half used it daily. Logistic regression analysis in younger (18-39) and older (40+) respondents revealed that white ethnicity, polydrug use and binge drinking were independently associated with lifetime methamphetamine use, regardless of age. Injection drug use (IDU) was also an important correlate of methamphetamine use for older African-Americans. IDU was not important for the younger group. Findings suggest that there is need for greater surveillance of methamphetamine use among homeless whites and Hispanics, and methamphetamine-use prevention and reduction targeted to younger, polydrug-using, alcohol-binging homeless adults.

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Available from: Steve Shoptaw, Aug 04, 2014
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    • "Lastly, our findings indicate that residing in unstable accommodation and engaging in criminal behaviours reduced the likelihood of recent abstinence. Studies have demonstrated that methamphetamine use is common among homeless populations (Nyamathi et al., 2008; Semple et al., 2004) and is often associated with increased criminal activity (Cartier et al., 2006; Degenhardt et al., 2008). Nevertheless, these findings highlight the disadvantage experienced by some methamphetamine users and the detrimental impact such problems can have on substance use (and vice versa). "
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    • "The substances most commonly used by homeless women are alcohol, marijuana, and crack/ cocaine (Bassuk et al., 1998; Robertson et al., 1997; Tucker, D'Amico et al., 2005). Recent research has documented an upward trend in the use of amphetamines and methamphetamine, although limited attention has focused on these substances among homeless women (Das- Douglas et al., 2007; Nyamathi et al., 2008). The prevalence and negative health consequences of alcohol and drug use call for a better understanding of the risk factors for homeless women's use. "
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