Racial/ethnic differences in trends in heroin use and heroin-related risk behaviors among nonmedical prescription opioid users

Silvia S. Martins, Julian Santaella-Tenorio, Brandon D L Marshall, Adriana Maldonado, Magdalena Cerda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: This study examines changing patterns of past-year heroin use and heroin-related risk behaviors among individuals with nonmedical use of prescription opioids (NMUPO) by racial/ethnic groups in the United States. Methods: We used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) from 2002 to 2005 and 2008 to 2011, resulting in a total sample of N= 448,597. Results: Past-year heroin use increased among individuals with NMUPO and increases varied by frequency of past year NMUPO and race/ethnicity. Those with NMUPO in the 2008-2011 period had almost twice the odds of heroin use as those with NMUPO in the 2002-2005 period (OR. = 1.89, 95%CI: 1.50, 2.39), with higher increases in non-Hispanic (NH) Whites and Hispanics. In 2008-2011, the risk of past year heroin use, ever injecting heroin, past-year heroin abuse or dependence, and the perception of availability of heroin increased as the frequency of NMUPO increased across respondents of all race/ethnicities. Conclusion: Individuals with NMUPO, particularly non-Hispanic Whites, are at high risk of heroin use and heroin-related risk behaviors. These results suggest that frequent nonmedical users of prescription opioids, regardless of race/ethnicity, should be the focus of novel public health efforts to prevent and mitigate the harms of heroin use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-283
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Volume151
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Heroin
Risk-Taking
Opioid Analgesics
Prescriptions
Heroin Dependence
Hispanic Americans
Ethnic Groups
Public health
Public Health
Health
Availability

Keywords

  • Heroin
  • Heroin-risk behaviors
  • National Survey on Drug Use and Health
  • Nonmedical use of prescription opioids
  • Race/ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this

Racial/ethnic differences in trends in heroin use and heroin-related risk behaviors among nonmedical prescription opioid users. / Martins, Silvia S.; Santaella-Tenorio, Julian; Marshall, Brandon D L; Maldonado, Adriana; Cerda, Magdalena.

In: Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Vol. 151, 01.01.2015, p. 278-283.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Martins, Silvia S. ; Santaella-Tenorio, Julian ; Marshall, Brandon D L ; Maldonado, Adriana ; Cerda, Magdalena. / Racial/ethnic differences in trends in heroin use and heroin-related risk behaviors among nonmedical prescription opioid users. In: Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2015 ; Vol. 151. pp. 278-283.
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