Puerto Rican migrants to NYC engage in riskier drug use

May 05, 2003

Puerto Rican injection drug users who move to New York City are more likely to engage in risky drug behaviors than other users in the city, according to new research.

Puerto Rican migrants injected drugs more often than other New York City users and were more apt to visit "shooting galleries," multiple user areas associated with higher levels of needle and equipment sharing. Thirty-two percent of drug-using migrants visited shooting galleries, compared with 18 percent of other New Yorker who inject drugs. Nearly half of all injection drug users who were homeless migrants said that they used shooting galleries.

Users who remained in Puerto Rico, however, show the same level of risky behavior as their migrant counterparts who return to the island, according to Sherry Deren, Ph.D., of the National Development and Research Institutes Inc. and colleagues.

This suggests that the migrants learned the risky behaviors in Puerto Rico and continued them after moving to New York, the researchers say.

"Our finding that new arrivals to New York may be practicing riskier behaviors than other New York injection drug users should be incorporated into prevention and intervention messages to help these new arrivals in accessing risk-reduction tools such as new needles from needle exchange programs and pharmacies," Deren says.

The researchers asked 873 injection drug users in New York City and Puerto Rico how often they injected drugs, visited shooting galleries, shared syringes and shared other injection equipment like cookers and rinse water. They found that Puerto Rican migrants did not share syringes more often than other New York users, but they were more apt to share other injection equipment like cookers and rinse water.

Despite practicing more risky injection behaviors, Puerto Rican migrants had lower levels of risky behavior than users in Puerto Rico. Services such as needle exchanges and addiction treatment are more readily available in New York City, which may account for some of the differences in risk behavior between Puerto Rican migrants and users who never left Puerto Rico, according to Deren and colleagues.
-end-
The study was published in the May issue of the American Journal of Public Health and supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

By Becky Ham, Staff Writer Health Behavior News Service

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Health Behavior News Service: (202) 387-2829 or www.hbns.org.
Interviews: Contact Sherry Deren at (212) 845-4463 or deren@ndri.org.
American Journal of Public Health: (202) 777-2511 or www.ajph.org.


Center for Advancing Health

Related Risky Behavior Articles from Brightsurf:

New research reveals risky sexual behavior and STIs are rising despite COVID-19 pandemic
New research launched at the 29th EADV Congress, EADV Virtual, has found that despite the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) lockdown restrictions, diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including gonorrhoea, secondary syphilis and mycoplasma genitalium (MG), have increased.

Study explores link between methamphetamine use and risky sexual behavior
Recreational use of the illicit drug methamphetamine has long been associated with increases in overall impatient and risky behavior.

Boys who are bullied online may have more risky sex
Recent research suggests that adolescent boys who are cyber bullied pursue risky sexual behaviors more frequently than girls who are cyber bullied.

Are tattoos linked with individuals' health and risky behaviors?
In a survey-based study published in the International Journal of Dermatology, having tattoos was not significantly related to overall health status, but individuals with tattoos were more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health issue and to report sleep problems.

Insufficient sleep associated with risky behavior in teens
In a new study, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital examined a national data sample of risk-taking behaviors and sleep duration self-reported by high school students over eight years and found an association between sleep duration and personal safety risk-taking actions.

Dieting associated with risky behaviours in teenage girls
Teenage girls who diet are more likely to engage in other health-compromising behaviours, including smoking, binge drinking, and skipping breakfast, a University of Waterloo study recently found.

Stress can lead to risky decisions
MIT neuroscientists have discovered making decisions that require weighing pros and cons of two choices is dramatically affected by chronic stress.

Tanning beds and risky behavior linked -- in men
Even though men use tanning beds at lower rates than women, men who tan tend to do it in riskier ways, according to a study by researchers at the University of Connecticut.

Managing risky behavior reduces future incarceration among aggressive juvenile offenders
Clinically aggressive juvenile offenders on probation in Cook County, Illinois, who participated in a two-week intervention program focusing on reducing risky behavior were four times less likely to be incarcerated in the 12 months after the intervention than their peers who participated in an information-based health promotion program.

Macho pursuits dominate assessments of risky behavior, reinforcing gender stereotypes
Women can be just as risky as men -- or even riskier -- when the conventional macho measures of daring -- such as betting vast sums on a football game -- are replaced by less stereotypical criteria, according to new research led by the University of Exeter.

Read More: Risky Behavior News and Risky Behavior Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.