High-risk drug use and sexual behaviors among out-of-treatment drug users: An aging and life course perspective
High-risk injection drug use and the sexual behaviors that accompany it have large social and financial costs. Tailored treatments have been shown to successfully reduce high-risk behaviors. However, little is known about how age and age at first drug use are related to high-risk injection or sex behaviors. The current study draws on life course theory and hypothesizes that age will have a strong relationship with high-risk behaviors of out-of-treatment drug users. Data from the NIDA Cooperative Agreement was used to analyze the relationship between (1) age, and (2) age at first drug use with seven high-risk injection and sexual behavior variables. Negative binomial regression models revealed that high-risk sexual behavior decreases between 15.8 and 20.9% with each decade of age, while high-risk injection behavior increases between 32 and 67% with each decade of age after the addition of demographic controls. Both high-risk injection and high-risk sex behaviors are significantly reduced with a delayed age at first drug use. Previous research promotes interventions to reduce the high-risk sexual behaviors of older drug users. The current study suggests a refocusing of public health efforts on the high-risk injection habits of older drug users.
Lopez, William, "High-risk drug use and sexual behaviors among out-of-treatment drug users: An aging and life course perspective" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1457545.