Honoria M. Guarino
Recent empirical and clinical evidence suggests that the use of illicit drugs - particularly injection heroin use - occurs at alarmingly high rates among young adult immigrants from the former Soviet Union (FSU) living in the U.S., yet virtually no systematic research has been conducted on this problem. The proposed mixed-methods study of contextual factors shaping drug use patterns, HIV/HCV risk behavior, and utilization of drug treatment and disease prevention services among opioid-using FSU youth promises to contribute significantly to public health by providing an evidence base to inform the development of culturally-targeted drug treatment and HIV/HCV prevention approaches for this vulnerable and underserved population. Finding effective and acceptable strategies to prevent or reduce the harmful physical, psychosocial and community consequences of opioid misuse and injection drug use among this high-risk group of young drug users is of the utmost importance from a societal perspective - not only to ameliorate the human cost of these problems, but also to contain the financial burden they pose to the wider society.
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