1826. Trends in Injected Drug Use Among High School Students in the United States, 1995-2011
Session: Oral Abstract Session: Hepatitis C
Saturday, October 5, 2013: 2:15 PM
Room: The Moscone Center: 250-262

Background: Increases in reports of hepatitis C in the eastern US have been linked to injected drug use (IDU) among youth.  We examined correlates of IDU and trends in national prevalence since 1995.

Methods: The national Youth Risk Behavior Survey is conducted biennially and uses independent, three-stage cluster sample designs to obtain cross-sectional data representative of public and private school students in grades 9-12 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Students complete anonymous, self-administered questionnaires about health risk behaviors, including drug use. IDU was defined as having used a needle to inject any illegal drug into their body one or more times during their life. Using data from 2009 and 2011, we examined the association between IDU and other health risk behaviors using logistic regression models that adjusted for sex, race/ethnicity, and grade. We used t-tests to compare the prevalence of IDU during 1995-1999 and during 2001-2011. Data were weighted to provide national estimates. During 1995-2011, overall response rates ranged from 60%-71%.

Results: During 2009-2011, the prevalence of IDU was 2.2% (1.9-2.4) and was higher among male than female students (adjusted odds ratio 1.9;p <0.01) and was higher among black (aOR 1.4;p=0.03) and Hispanic (aOR 1.6;p=0.001) than white students. Compared to students who did not engage in IDU, those who did were more likely to have ever taken steroids (aOR 66.8;p<0.001) or prescription drugs (aOR 23.6;p<0.001) without a doctor's prescription, been in a physical fight during the past year (aOR 8.8;p<0.01), and had first sexual intercourse before age 13 years (aOR 16.0;p<0.01), but less likely to have been taught in school about HIV/AIDS (aOR 0.2;p<0.001). The prevalence of IDU increased significantly from 1995-1999 to 2001-2011 among female (1.1% to 1.6%; p=0.02), black (1.0% to 2.1%;p<0.01), and Hispanic students (2.0% to 3.1%; p<0.01), and students who had first sexual intercourse before age 13 years (8.5% to 13.1%; p<0.001).

Conclusion: Since 1995, IDU has increased among some adolescent populations in the United States. Efforts to address drug use and other risky behaviors among high school students are needed to reduce the risk of transmission of bloodborne pathogens, such as hepatitis C virus and HIV.


Monina Klevens, DDS, MPH1, Sherry Everett Jones1 and John Ward, MD2, (1)Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, (2)Division of Viral Hepatitis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/NCHHSTP, Atlanta, GA


M. Klevens, None

S. Everett Jones, None

J. Ward, None

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