Cessation of injection drug use among youth is an important public health objective that has potential to reduce injection-related harm. We undertook this qualitative study to examine experiences of injection cessation and relapse among young people living in Vancouver, BC. Participants were recruited from the At-Risk Youth Study (ARYS), a longitudinal cohort of street-involved youth who use illicit drugs. Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted with 7 females and 5 males, ages 20 to 30 years. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and a thematic analysis was conducted, drawing on the risk environment framework. In this study, facilitators of injection cessation were low-barrier and integrated youth services, supportive housing, access to methadone maintenance therapy (MMT), and the use of marijuana. Based upon these findings, recommendations for promoting injection cessation include increasing access to low-barrier supports for youth, and promoting non-injection routes of administration to reduce the health consequences of injection drug use.
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Thesis advisor: Miller, Cari
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