Theorising equipment-sharing in a cohort of Scottish drug users

Bloor, M., Robertson, M., McKeganey, N. and Neale, J. (2008) Theorising equipment-sharing in a cohort of Scottish drug users. Health, Risk and Society, 10(6), pp. 599-607. (doi: 10.1080/13698570802533697)

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Findings are reported from a cohort of 1007 Scottish drug users entering treatment, including prison-based treatment, in 2001/2002. At follow-up, 33 months later, 14.4% of the sample had shared needles and/or syringes in the 3 months prior to interview; if the definition of equipment-sharing is extended to sharing filters, spoons or flush water, then 21.8% had shared in the same period. Logistic regression analyses were performed to establish the co-variables associated with equipment-sharing for those of the study population who were injectors at baseline and who had been interviewed at all four sweeps; separate additional analyses were performed for those receiving baseline treatment inside prison and for those receiving treatment outside prison. Variables occurring in the models independently associated with equipment-sharing included severity of drug dependence, poorer mental health and whether or not the interviewee's partner had a drug problem, with the last co-variable indicating the continuing importance of the social patterning of equipment sharing. Further, a very strong independent association was found between frequency of injecting and recent equipment-sharing: other things being equal, those injecting drugs most often are those who are most likely to share injecting equipment. This is not simply self-evidential; it also speaks to the importance of 'accidental' sharing. Theorising of this risk behaviour must not just emphasise the situated rationality of sharing, but must also embrace contingency.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robertson, Mrs Michele and Bloor, Prof Michael and McKeganey, Prof Neil
Authors: Bloor, M., Robertson, M., McKeganey, N., and Neale, J.
Subjects:R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Robertson Centre
Journal Name:Health, Risk and Society
ISSN (Online):1469-8331
Published Online:01 January 2008

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