History of Being in Government Care Associated with Younger Age at Injection Initiation Among a Cohort of Street-involved Youth

Resource type
Date created
2017-07-25
Authors/Contributors
Author: Kerr, Thomas
Author: Dong, Huiru
Author: Wood, Evan
Author: DeBeck, Kora
Abstract
Introduction and Aims: Compared to the general population of youth, health-related disparities experienced by youth exposed to the child welfare system are well documented. Amongst these vulnerabilities are elevated rates of substance use, including injection drug use; however, less is known about when these youth transition to this high-risk behaviour. We sought to assess whether having a history of government care is associated with initiating injection drug use before age 18. Design and Methods: Between September 2005 and May 2014, data were derived from the At-Risk Youth Study, a cohort of street-involved youth who use illicit drugs in Vancouver, Canada. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was employed to examine the relationship between early initiation of injection drug use and having a history of being in government care. Results: Among the 581 injecting street-involved youth included, 229 (39%) reported initiating injection drug use before 18 years of age. In multivariable analysis, despite controlling for a range of potential confounders, having a history of government care remained significantly associated with initiating injection drug use before age 18 (adjusted odds ratio = 1.69; 95% confidence interval: 1.15–2.48). Discussion and Conclusions: Youth with a history of being in government care were significantly more likely to initiate injection drug use before age 18 than street-involved youth without a history of being in care. These findings imply that youth in the child welfare system are at higher-risk and suggest interventions are needed to prevent transitions into high-risk substance use among this population.
Document
Identifier
DOI: 10.1111/dar.12513
Published as
Barker, B., Kerr, T., Dong, H., Wood, E., and DeBeck, K. (2017) "History of being in government care associated with younger age at injection initiation among a cohort of street-involved youth." Drug and Alcohol Review. DOI: 10.1111/dar.12513
Publication title
Drug and Alcohol Review
Document title
History of Being in Government Care Associated with Younger Age at Injection Initiation Among a Cohort of Street-involved Youth
Date
2017
Publisher DOI
10.1111/dar.12513
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
Scholarly level
Peer reviewed?
Yes
Language
Member of collection
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fc_earlyinjection_revisedaug16.pdf 183.76 KB