Injecting risk behaviours, self-reported mental health and crime; a comparison of recent heroin and non-heroin use from the 2012 IDRS

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Author: Jennifer Stafford, Lucy Burns

Resource Type: Drug Trends Bulletins

Key Findings

ƒƒParticipants were divided into two groups based on recent heroin use: heroin versus non-heroin.

ƒBoth groups were aged around 40yrs, mainly male, single and unemployed.

ƒRecent ice/crystal was significantly higher in the heroin group. While recent speed and base use was significantly higher in the non-heroin group.ƒƒ

One-fifth of the heroin group and one-tenth of the non-heroin group reported the recent use of cocaine.

Cannabis use was common among both groups on a near-daily basis.

ƒƒThe heroin group reported a significantly higher use of benzodiazepines, methadone, buprenorphine, buprenorphine-naloxone and oxycodone in the last six months. The non-heroin group reported a significantly higher recent use of morphine.

The heroin group were significantly more likely to report borrowing and lending a needle and reusing their own needle in the last month.

Around two-thirds of both groups had experienced an injection-related health problem in the month preceding interview.

Nearly half of both groups self-reported a mental health problem in the last six months, mainly depression and anxiety.

ƒƒOf those who reported recently driving, one-fifth in both groups drove while under the influence of alcohol. While nearly all reported driving while under the influence of an illicit drug, mainly cannabis.

The heroin group were significantly more likely to report a criminal activity in the last month, mainly drug dealing and property crime.

Over one-third of both groups had been arrested in the last 12 months, mainly for property crime and use/possession of drugs.