Predictors and consequences of incarceration among a sample of young Thai methamphetamine users

Susan G. Sherman, Catherine G. Sutcliffe, Bangorn Srirojn, Danielle German, Nick Thomson, Apinun Aramrattana, David D. Celentano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction and Aims. Our study examined the incidence of arrest and incarceration, investigated predictors of incarceration and explored the persistence of depression, alcohol use and drug use after incarceration among young methamphetamine users from Thailand. Design and Methods. Participants were aged 18-25 years old and were a part of a 12 month randomised social network trial that aimed to reduce sexual risk and methamphetamine use. Estimates of the incidence of arrest and incarceration over 12 months were calculated. A matched case-control study (n = 73 cases; n = 223 controls) was performed to examine incarceration risk factors using conditional logistic regression. Persistence of drug-risk behaviours were explored after incarceration. Results. Study participants (n = 950) were 72% male, with a median age of 19 years and a median of 9 years of schooling. Frequent drug and alcohol use were reported at baseline. In total, 35% of the sample reported ever having been arrested and 22% reported ever having been incarcerated at baseline. During the 12 month follow up, 16% of the sample was arrested. In univariate analyses, risk factors for incarceration included frequent drug and alcohol use, being less educated, and a history of arrest and incarceration.A high prevalence of drug and alcohol use and involvement in the drug economy persisted after arrest. Discussion and Conclusions. The study indicates a high prevalence of recidivism among this young sample, with continued involvement in drug-risk behaviours after incarceration. Appropriate interventions are needed to address root causes of arrest, largely related to substance use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-405
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Incarceration
  • Methamphetamine
  • Thailand
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)


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