Drug abuse, risks of infectious diseases and service utilization among Former Soviet Union immigrants: A view from New York City

Richard E. Isralowitz, Shulamith L.A. Straussner, Andrew Rosenblum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Based on the high rates of injection drug use and infectious disease such as HIV, HCV and tuberculosis in their home country, immigrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) comprise a high-risk population in the United States. Yet, little is known about their drug abuse and health problems relative to other immigrant populations like Hispanics. The objectives of this exploratory study were to identify disease risk behavior, and utilization of and barriers to treatment services among drug using immigrants from the FSU. Focused interviews were conducted with 27 public officials and administrators in New York City. This study found that FSU immigrants tend to have culturally unique drug abuse patterns and behavior, such as rapid transition to injection drug use, and suspicion and avoidance of traditional drug treatment approaches. The findings of this exploratory study point to the need for further research and the need to take immediate steps to promote culturally appropriate treatment and prevention services that can address the spread of harmful behavior that threatens the public health of FSU immigrants and others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 8 2006

Keywords

  • Drug abuse
  • Former Soviet Union
  • Immigrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)

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