Working with heroin sniffers: Clinical issues in preventing drug injection

Cathy Casriel, Don C. Des Jarlais, Ray Rodriguez, Samuel R. Friedman, Bruce Stepherson, Elizabeth Khuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Preventing illicit drug injection would be the ideal point for preventing HIV infection and AIDS among illicit drug injectors. This paper reports on clinical issues that arose in a program for intranasal ("sniffer") heroin users who were at high risk of injecting drugs. Extensive field notes were kept by the staff of the project. A generalized mistrust of authorities, denial of problems associated with non-injected drug use, and ambivalence about injecting were the major issues that arose during subject recruitment and the group sessions. The staff underwent trial and error learning, both becoming more confident in working with heroin sniffers, and finding better results for later participants in the study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990


  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • Heroin
  • injection
  • sniffers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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