UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The Effect of Prescription Opioid Injection on the Risk of Non-Fatal Overdose Among People Who Inject Drugs Lake, Stephanie; Hayashi, Kanna; Buxton, Jane A.; Milloy, M-J; Dong, Huiru; Wood, Evan; Montaner, Julio; Kerr, Thomas


Objectives—Prescription opioid (PO) use by people who inject drugs (PWID) is a growing public health concern. Non-fatal overdose remains a leading source of morbidity among PWID, however, little is known about the relationship between PO injection and non-fatal overdose in this population. In this study we sought to examine the impact of PO injection on non-fatal overdose among PWID from Vancouver, Canada. Methods—Data were derived from two open prospective cohorts of PWID for the period of December, 2005 to May, 2014. Multivariable generalized estimating equations were used to examine the odds of overdose among those who injected: POs; heroin; and POs and heroin. Results—In total, 1660 PWID (33.7% women) participated in this study. In multivariable analyses, in comparison to those who were injecting non-opioid drugs, exclusive PO injection was not significantly associated with non-fatal overdose (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 1.17, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.74 – 1.86). The odds of non-fatal overdose were elevated for heroin injection (AOR: 1.72, 95% CI: 1.31 – 2.27), but were greatest for those who injected both heroin and POs (AOR: 2.46, 95% CI: 1.83 – 3.30).

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