UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Reports of police beating and associated harms among people who inject drugs in Bangkok, Thailand: a serial cross-sectional study Hayashi, Kanna; Ti, Lianping; Csete, Joanne; Kaplan, Karyn; Suwannawong, Paisan; Wood, Evan; Kerr, Thomas


Background: Thailand has for years attempted to address illicit drug use through aggressive drug law enforcement. Despite accounts of widespread violence by police against people who inject drugs (IDU), the impact of police violence has not been well investigated. In the wake of an intensified police crackdown in 2011, we sought to identify the prevalence and correlates of experiencing police beating among IDU in Bangkok. Methods Community-recruited samples of IDU in Bangkok were surveyed between June 2009 and October 2011. Multivariate log-binomial regression was used to identify factors associated with reporting police beating. Results In total, 639 unique IDU participated in this serial cross-sectional study, with 240 (37.6%) participants reporting that they had been beaten by police. In multivariate analyses, reports of police beating were associated with male gender (Adjusted Prevalence Ratio [APR] = 4.43), younger age (APR = 1.69), reporting barriers to accessing healthcare (APR = 1.23), and a history of incarceration (APR = 2.51), compulsory drug detention (APR = 1.22) and syringe sharing (APR = 1.44), and study enrolment in 2011 (APR = 1.27) (all p 

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