Aids and preventing initiation into intravenous (iv) drug use

Don C. Des Jarlais, Alan Kott, Samuel R. Friedman, Cathy Casriel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Risk reduction efforts aimed at current intravenous drug users need to be supplemented by efforts that reduce the numbers of drug sniffers who go on to intravenous use. A pilot study suggests that young drug sniffers avoid injecting primarily because they fear loss of control over their lives and, as a result, becoming involved in actions they abhor. None gave fear of AIDS as a reason why they did not inject their drugs—even though almost all knew that AIDS was a fatal disease spread by sharing needles while injecting drugs. They believed that two forces could lead to their becoming injectors: increasing tolerance to sniffed heroin or social pressure from friends who inject. A program to prevent initiation into intravenous drug use is proposed; this program, based on social learning theory, aims to teach drug sniffers how to avoid or cope with situations in which they might be pressured into drug injection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-194
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology & Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 1987


  • AIDS
  • IV drug use
  • prevention
  • risk reduction
  • social learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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