Determinants of overdose incidents among illicit opioid users in 5 Canadian cities

Article


Fischer, Benedikt, Brissette, Suzanne, Brochu, Serge, Bruneau, Julie, el-Gueb, Nady, Noel, Lina, Rehm, Jürgen, Tyndall, Mark, Wild, Cameron, Mun, Phil, Haydon, Emma and Baliunas, Dolly. 2004. "Determinants of overdose incidents among illicit opioid users in 5 Canadian cities." CMAJ. 171 (3), pp. 235-239. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.1031416
Article Title

Determinants of overdose incidents among illicit opioid users in 5 Canadian cities

ERA Journal ID15351
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsFischer, Benedikt, Brissette, Suzanne, Brochu, Serge, Bruneau, Julie, el-Gueb, Nady, Noel, Lina, Rehm, Jürgen, Tyndall, Mark, Wild, Cameron, Mun, Phil, Haydon, Emma and Baliunas, Dolly
Journal TitleCMAJ
Journal Citation171 (3), pp. 235-239
Number of Pages5
Year2004
PublisherCanadian Medical Association
Place of PublicationCanada
ISSN0820-3946
1488-2329
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.1031416
Web Address (URL)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15289420
Abstract

Background: Drug overdose is a major cause of death and illness among illicit drug users. Previous research has indicated that most illicit drug users experience nonfatal overdoses and has suggested a variety of factors that are associated with risk of overdose. In this study, we examined the occurrence of and the factors associated with nonfatal overdoses within a Canadian sample of illicit opioid users not enrolled in treatment at the time of study recruitment.

Methods: Interviewers used a standard questionnaire to collect data on sociodemographic characteristics, drug use, health and health care, experience in the criminal justice system and treatment for drug problems; they also performed standard assessments for mental health and infectious disease. The association between overdose and sociodemographic and drug-use factors was examined with χ2 and t test analyses; marginally significant variables were examined with logistic regression to determine independent effects.

Results: A total of 679 subjects were interviewed; 651 provided answers sufficient for this analysis. One hundred and twelve (17.2%) of the 651 respondents reported an overdose episode in the previous 6 months. In the logistic regression analysis (after adjustment for sociodemographic factors), homelessness, noninjection use of hydromorphone in the past 30 days and involvement in drug treatment in the past 12 months were predictors of overdose (p < 0.05).

Interpretation: Overdose poses a considerable health risk for illicit opioid users. We found that a diverse set of factors was associated with overdose episodes. Prevention efforts will likely be more effective if they can be directed to specific causal factors.

KeywordsAdult
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420606. Social determinants of health
420201. Behavioural epidemiology
Public NotesFiles associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Byline AffiliationsNo affiliation
School of Health and Medical Sciences
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