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Gender and racial/ethnic differences in addiction severity, HIV risk, and quality of life among adults in opioid detoxification: results from the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network.

Substance abuse and rehabilitation

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      Abstract

      PURPOSE: Detoxification often serves as an initial contact for treatment and represents an opportunity for engaging patients in aftercare to prevent relapse. However, there is limited information concerning clinical profiles of individuals seeking detoxification, and the opportunity to engage patients in detoxification for aftercare often is missed. This study examined clinical profiles of a geographically diverse sample of opioid-dependent adults in detoxification to discern the treatment needs of a growing number of women and whites with opioid addiction and to inform interventions aimed at improving use of aftercare or rehabilitation. METHODS: The sample included 343 opioid-dependent patients enrolled in two national multi-site studies of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN001-002). Patients were recruited from 12 addiction treatment programs across the nation. Gender and racial/ethnic differences in addiction severity, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk, and quality of life were examined. RESULTS: Women and whites were more likely than men and African Americans to have greater psychiatric and family/social relationship problems and report poorer health-related quality of life and functioning. Whites and Hispanics exhibited higher levels of total HIV risk scores and risky injection drug use scores than African Americans, and Hispanics showed a higher level of unprotected sexual behaviors than whites. African Americans were more likely than whites to use heroin and cocaine and to have more severe alcohol and employment problems. CONCLUSIONS: Women and whites show more psychopathology than men and African Americans. These results highlight the need to monitor an increased trend of opioid addiction among women and whites and to develop effective combined psychosocial and pharmacologic treatments to meet the diverse needs of the expanding opioid-abusing population. Elevated levels of HIV risk behaviors among Hispanics and whites also warrant more research to delineate mechanisms and to reduce their risky behaviors.

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      Most cited references 56

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        A 36-item short-form (SF-36) was constructed to survey health status in the Medical Outcomes Study. The SF-36 was designed for use in clinical practice and research, health policy evaluations, and general population surveys. The SF-36 includes one multi-item scale that assesses eight health concepts: 1) limitations in physical activities because of health problems; 2) limitations in social activities because of physical or emotional problems; 3) limitations in usual role activities because of physical health problems; 4) bodily pain; 5) general mental health (psychological distress and well-being); 6) limitations in usual role activities because of emotional problems; 7) vitality (energy and fatigue); and 8) general health perceptions. The survey was constructed for self-administration by persons 14 years of age and older, and for administration by a trained interviewer in person or by telephone. The history of the development of the SF-36, the origin of specific items, and the logic underlying their selection are summarized. The content and features of the SF-36 are compared with the 20-item Medical Outcomes Study short-form.
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          Self-report among injecting drug users: a review.

           Shane Darke (1998)
          The use of behavioural self-reports of drug users is widespread among studies of illicit drug use. Despite widespread use, concerns about the accuracy of these reports continue to be raised. The current paper critically reviews the literature on the reliability and validity of self-reported drug use, criminality and HIV risk-taking among injecting drug users. The literature shows respectable reliability and validity of self-reported behaviours when compared to biomarkers, criminal records and collateral interviews. It concludes that the self-reports of drug users are sufficiently reliable and valid to provide descriptions of drug use, drug-related problems and the natural history of drug use.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            3122483
            21709734
            10.2147/SAR.S15151

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