An observation of lower rates of drug use over time in community syringe exchangers

Michael Kidorf, Van L. King, Jessica Peirce, Ken Kolodner, Robert K. Brooner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives The present study evaluated changes in rates of self-reported heroin and cocaine use in opioid-dependent individuals newly registered to a syringe exchange program (SEP), and examined the effects of recovery-oriented longitudinal variables (i.e., substance abuse treatment, self-help group participation, employment) on changes in drug use. Methods Study participants (n = 240) were opioid-dependent and drawn from a larger study evaluating strategies to improve treatment-seeking. Mixed model analyses were used to evaluate changes in rates of heroin and cocaine use, and longitudinal correlates of change in these substances, over a one-year period. Results Results showed reductions in days of heroin and cocaine use over time, and that participation in recovery-oriented activities was strongly associated with greater changes in drug use. Conclusions and Scientific Significance These results suggest SEPs can play a vital role in facilitating reductions in drug use through motivating participation in treatment and other recovery-oriented activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-276
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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