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Drug network characteristics as a predictor of cessation of drug use among adult injection drug users: a prospective study.


Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1999 Aug;25(3):463-73. Unique Identifier :

Few studies have examined recovery from opiate and cocaine dependence without treatment, referred to as "natural recovery," "spontaneous recovery," and "spontaneous remission." The present study examined the relationship between network characteristics and cessation of heroin, cocaine, and crack use in a sample of underclass inner-city injection drug users in Baltimore, Maryland. Participants were enrolled in an experimental human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) preventive intervention. Between the baseline and follow-up interviews, which averaged 5.2 months, 24 (7%) of 335 participants reported ceasing to use heroin, cocaine, and crack. Individuals who had reported cessation of drug use at follow-up had reported at baseline a smaller proportion of their network members with whom they used drugs (p < .02). Using multiple logistic regression analyses and adjusting for baseline drug use, enrollment in drug treatment, and demographic and background variables, cessation of drug use was associated with a lower proportion of personal network members in one's drug network (odds ratio [OR] = 25.4, p < .05). The data from this study suggest that network members have potential for social influence on the cessation of drug use.

JOURNAL ARTICLE Adult Case-Control Studies Cocaine-Related Disorders/*REHABILITATION *Crack Cocaine Female Human HIV Infections/PREVENTION & CONTROL Logistic Models Male Maryland Odds Ratio Opioid-Related Disorders/*REHABILITATION Peer Group Poverty Areas Prospective Studies Risk Factors *Social Support Substance Abuse, Intravenous/*REHABILITATION


Information in this article was accurate in December 30, 1999. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.