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Is the recent emergence of mephedrone injecting in the United Kingdom associated with elevated risk behaviours and blood borne virus infection?

Hope, VD and Cullen, KJ and Smith, J and Jessop, L and Parry, J and Ncube, F (2016) Is the recent emergence of mephedrone injecting in the United Kingdom associated with elevated risk behaviours and blood borne virus infection? Eurosurveillance, 21 (19). ISSN 1560-7917

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Abstract

The recent, and rapid, emergence of injection of the short-acting stimulant mephedrone (4-methylmethcathione) has resulted in concerns about increased infection risks among people who inject drugs (PWID). Data from the bio-behavioural surveillance of PWID in the United Kingdom were analysed to examine the impact of mephedrone injection on infections among PWID. During the year preceding the survey, 8.0% of PWID (163/2,047) had injected mephedrone. In multivariable analyses, those injecting mephedrone were younger, less likely to have injected opiates, and more likely to have injected cocaine or amphetamines, used needle/syringe programmes or sexual health clinics, been recruited in Wales and Northern Ireland or shared needles/syringes. There were no differences in sexual risks. Those injecting mephedrone more often had hepatitis C antibodies (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.51; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08-2.12), human immunodeficiency virus (AOR = 5.43; 95% CI: 1.90-15.5) and overdosed (AOR = 1.70; 95% CI: 1.12-2.57). There were no differences in the frequency of injecting site infections or prevalence of hepatitis B. The elevated levels of risk and infections are a concern considering its recent emergence. Mephedrone injection may currently be focused among higher-risk or more vulnerable groups. Targeted responses are needed to prevent an increase in harm.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hepatitis C; Mephedrone; People who inject drugs; human immunodeficiency virus - HIV; risk behaviours; Adult; Age Distribution; Blood-Borne Pathogens; Causality; Central Nervous System Stimulants; Communicable Diseases, Emerging; Comorbidity; Drug Users; Female; Humans; Incidence; Injections, Intravenous; Male; Methamphetamine; Needle Sharing; Risk Factors; Substance Abuse, Intravenous; United Kingdom; Viremia; Vulnerable Populations
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1190 Toxicology. Poisions
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: European Centre for DIsease Prevention and Control
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2017 09:20
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2017 09:20
DOI or Identification number: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2016.21.19.30225
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6770

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