Nonfatal overdose from alcohol and/or drugs among a sample of recreational drug users
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The purpose of this study was to examine nonfatal overdose events experienced among a sample of recreational drug users. We sought to determine predictors of nonfatal overdose from alcohol and/or drugs among a sample of recreational drug users. In addition, we examined the substance(s) used at the last overdose event. Methods: Participants were 637 recreational illicit drug users (had used illicit drugs other than marijuana, in a club or party setting), aged 19 or older, from Victoria or Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Data were obtained in structured interviews conducted from 2008 to 2012 as part of the Canadian Recreation Drug Use Survey (CRDUS). Results: In the 12 months prior to interview, 19.3% (n=123) of the participants had experienced an overdose. In multivariate analysis, younger age, unstable housing, and usually consuming eight or more drinks containing alcohol, when drinking, significantly increased overdose risk. In addition, polysubstance use was reported by 67.5% (n=83) participants at their last overdose event. Conclusions: Intervention and prevention measures seeking to reduce overdoses among recreational drug users should not only address illicit drug use but also alcohol and polysubstance use. In addition, measures may target those who usually consume high amounts of alcohol when drinking are younger and who experience housing instability.
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