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Demystifying the injection drug user: willingness to participate in traditional drug treatment servi

Demystifying the injection drug user: willingness to participate in traditional drug treatment servi

  1. Heretic.Ape.
    Journal of Psychoactive Drugs; 2002 34(3)

    S. Master and K. Vail


    Description: Injection drug users have been vilified in our culture as being wild-eyed and willing to do anything for the next hit. These individuals are typically seen as being unemployed, uneducated and completely disinterested in making any changes in their lives. Sixty-one participants in a syringe exchange program in Cleveland, Ohio were interviewed using the NIDA Risk Behavior Assessment. Fifty (81%) of the respondents were either in an abstinence-based program or reported a willingness to participate in such a program. Importantly, although the sample consisted of long-term daily users of injection drugs (m=19.95 years), the majority of the sample was employed (69%) and were high school graduates (51%). The results of this study suggest that injection drug users are willing to make changes in their use-related behaviors, involvement in a needle exchange program does not preclude involvement in abstinence-based programming, and needle exchange services may serve as an important component in a continuum of care when coupled with traditional abstinence-based services.