ERIC Number: EJ756962
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 30
Physical Health, Illicit Drug Use, and Demographic Characteristics in Rural Stimulant Users
Garrity, Thomas F.; Leukefeld, Carl G.; Carlson, Robert G.; Falck, Russel S.; Wang, Jichuan; Booth, Brenda M.
Journal of Rural Health, v23 n2 p99-107 Spr 2007
Context: There is growing concern about illicit rural stimulant use, especially regarding methamphetamine use and its health consequences. Purpose: The present study describes associations between aspects of stimulant use and illness experience in rural areas, with additional focus on the role of demographic characteristics in these associations. Methods: The research participants were 710 stimulant drug users who were recruited from rural areas of Arkansas, Kentucky, and Ohio using Heckathorn's respondent-driven sampling method. Health was measured by self-reports of perceived health and extent of current, recent, and lifelong health problems. Drug use was measured with self-reports of type and frequency of use. Findings: Several associations were found between drug use and illness, controlling for demographics. Stimulant use pattern related significantly with the sum of health problems in the previous 6 months and the sum of lifetime illness diagnoses, after adjustment for demographic factors. Extent of illicit drug use in the past month and self-perceived drug and alcohol problems were associated with several measures of health. Conclusions: In this sample of stimulant users, methamphetamine use was associated with fewer recent medical problems than crack cocaine, combined crack and powder cocaine use, and use of all 3 of these stimulants. These results, across the 3 sites, suggest that prevalent assumptions about the methamphetamine "plague" and its negative health consequences must be viewed cautiously and examined with additional research.
Descriptors: Physical Health, Stimulants, Rural Areas, Cocaine, Alcoholism, Drug Use, Sampling, Measures (Individuals)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas; Kentucky; Ohio