Tracks Survey of People Who Inject Drugs

Tracks survey of people who inject drugs tracks survey of people who inject drugs

Trauma has obviously played a significant role in the lives of survey participants. Eighty per cent reported experiencing emotional, psychological or verbal abuse as a child or adolescent; 62% experienced physical abuse, and almost half (49%) experienced sexual abuse as a child or adolescent. If we look at the breakdown by sex, a higher proportion of women experienced these three types of childhood abuses, compared to men.

“A high proportion of participants (14.5% or 29 people) self-identified as being of Aboriginal ethnicity, well above the proportion of self-identified Aboriginal people among the general New Brunswick population. (Based on data from the National Household Survey, 3.1% of the total NB population self- identified as Aboriginal in 2011.) A slightly greater proportion of women than men self- identified as Aboriginal (17% versus 13%). Of these 29 participants, only five (17%) reported that they live on a reserve most of the time.

Some 13% of survey participants had injected drugs before the age of 16. Cocaine is the drug of choice of 73% of survey participants while 66% reported using Dilaudid and 50% used methamphetamines (such as crystal meth). While 94% said they had used a sterile needle and/or syringe the last time they injected, 11% reported using a used needle and/or syringe in the past six months.

Twenty per cent (39 participants) had overdosed in the past six months, including 32% of female participants. A significant proportion (36%, including almost 50% of female participants) reported that they have avoided health care services in the past 12 months for fear of, or concern about, stigma by staff. Other reasons included fear that someone may learn they inject drugs and/or concern about police harassment or arrest.

Our data show a high rate of non-use of condoms. Two-thirds (66.7%) of those reporting that they had vaginal sex with a regular sex partner in the past six months never used a condom; 73.5% said they never used a condom during anal sex with a regular sex partner and 90% said they never used a condom during oral sex with a regular sex partner.”

About Regulation Project

The Regulation Project is an international collaboration to advocate and educate for the legal regulation of drugs.