IDRS Bulletin July 2011: Exploring gender differences among people who inject drugs in Australia, 2010

Key findings:
 
Demographics
  • Males were significantly more likely than females to be older, heterosexual, single and to have a previous prison history
 
Drug use
  • Males were significantly more likely than females to report the recent use of speed, ice/crystal, illicit buprenorphine and illicit buprenorphine-naloxone
  • Males reported a significantly higher frequency of speed use, while females reported a significantly higher frequency of illicit benzodiazepines and illicit methadone use
  • Males were significantly more likely than females to have recently injected speed, ice/crystal, illicit buprenorphine and illicit buprenorphine-naloxone
 
Risk behaviours, health and social networks
  • Females were significantly more likely to report lending needles, and report problems associated with injecting, while males were more likely to report re-using their own needle
  • A greater proportion of females self-reported a mental health problem compared to males
  • Females were significantly more likely to fall into the ‘very high’ levels of distress on the K10 compared to males
  • Females were significantly more likely than males to drive while under the influence of benzodiazepines, while males were significantly more likely than females to have recently driven while under the influence of speed
  • Females were significantly more likely than males to have been tested for a STI in the last two years
  • Females were significantly more likely to have near daily contact with family and were able to rely on their spouse/partners for help with a serious problem then males
 
Criminal activity
  • Males were significantly more likely to commit a crime involving drug dealing or violence and reported been arrested in the last 12 months than females