Supervised injection facility use and exposure to violence among a cohort of people who inject drugs: A gender-based analysis.

Int J Drug Policy. 2020 Mar 19;78:102692

Authors: Kennedy MC, Hayashi K, Milloy MJ, Boyd J, Wood E, Kerr T

BACKGROUND: Supervised injection facilities (SIFs) have been established in many settings, in part to reduce risks associated with injecting in public, including exposure to violence. However, the relationship between SIF use and experiencing violence has not yet been thoroughly evaluated. We sought to longitudinally examine the gender-specific relationship between SIF use and exposure to violence among people who inject drugs (PWID) in a Canadian setting.
METHODS: Data were drawn from two prospective cohort studies of PWID in Vancouver, Canada, between December 2005 and December 2016. Semi-annually, participants completed questionnaires that elicited data concerning sociodemographic characteristics, behavioural patterns, violent encounters and health service utilization. We used multivariable generalized estimating equations (GEE) to estimate the independent association between exclusively injecting drugs at a SIF and experiencing physical or sexual violence among men and women PWID, respectively.
RESULTS: Of 1930 PWID followed for a median of four years, 679 (35.2%) were women and the median age was 41 years at baseline. In total, 353 (52.0%) women and 694 (55.5%) men reported experiencing at least one incident of violence during follow-up. In multivariable analyses, exclusive SIF use was associated with decreased odds of experiencing violence among men after adjusting for potential confounders (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.46-0.89). Exclusive SIF use was not significantly associated with experiencing violence among women in adjusted analyses (AOR = 0.97; 95% CI: 0.57-1.66).
CONCLUSION: In light of the recent expansion of SIFs in Canada, our finding of a protective association between exclusive SIF use and exposure to violence among men is encouraging. The fact that we did not observe a significant association between SIF use and experiencing violence among women highlights the need for social-structural interventions that are more responsive to the specific needs of women PWID in relation to violence prevention.

PMID: 32200269 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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