Home > Gender differences in characteristics of drug users presenting to a Dublin syringe exchange.

Geoghegan, Tony and O'Shea, Mary and Cox, Gemma (1999) Gender differences in characteristics of drug users presenting to a Dublin syringe exchange. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine , 16 , (4) , pp. 131-135.

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A significant minority of the new clients presenting to the Merchant's Quay health promotion unit are female, and there are notable gender differences in drug use patterns among new attendees. To date there has been no research into gender difference and drug use in Ireland with the exception of areas of study concerned with maternal opiate use. This study explores the gender difference in patterns of drug use, risk behaviour, health and well being among new 934 attendees to a Dublin syringe exchange. From May 1997 to April 1998 data was collected by means of structured interviews with all first time clients who presented at the Merchants Quay Health Promotion Unit. All Information collected was based on clients' self-reported behaviour. Of the new clients, 24.3% were female and 75.7% were male.

The female clients were significantly younger than their male counterparts, more likely to report having a sexual partner who was an injecting drug user and to be living with an injecting drug user. They were also more likely to report recently sharing injecting paraphernalia. The interval between initiating intravenous drug use and first presenting at the Merchant's Quay health promotion unit was significantly shorter for female clients. One of the most important concerns with regard to illicit intravenous drug use is that of needle sharing and it's associated risks (HIV and hepatitis.) This study highlights the greater personal involvement of women with other drug users, and its consequences in terms of health-related problems and risk behaviour. It is possible to take advantage of the fact that young women present for treatment at a younger age than their male counterparts, and at a much earlier stage in their injecting careers.

 

Item Type:Article
Date:1999
Page Range:pp. 131-135
Publisher:Medmedia Group
Volume:16
Number:4
Notes:Reproduced by kind permission of Medmedia Group
EndNote:View
Subjects:T Demographic characteristics > Intravenous / injecting drug user
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health related prevention > Health information and education > Communicable disease control > Needle distribution and exchange
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland > Dublin
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Treatment and maintenance > Treatment factors
T Demographic characteristics > Gender differences

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