Risks associated with crack cocaine smoking among exotic dancers in Baltimore, MD

Susan G. Sherman, Jacqueline Reuben, Chris Serio Chapman, Pamela Lilleston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: There is a dearth of research focusing on sex work in exotic dance clubs. We conducted a cross-sectional study to examine the prevalence and correlates of crack cocaine smoking among a sample of exotic dancers. Methods: The " block," a historical red-light district in downtown Baltimore, MD, is comprised of 30 adult-entertainment establishments. Between 01/09 and 08/09, we conducted a survey with exotic dancers (N= 98). The survey explored demographic, and drug and sexual/drug risk behaviors. Bivariate and multivariate analysis was conducted using Poisson regression with robust variance estimates to examine correlates of current crack smoking. Results: Crack cocaine smokers compared to non-crack cocaine smokers were significantly more likely to report: older age (29 vs. 23 years, respectively, p< 0.0001); being White (79% vs. 50%, respectively, p= 0.008); having been arrested (93% vs. 67%, respectively, p= 0.008); daily alcohol consumption (36% vs. 17%, p= 0.047); current heroin injection (57% vs. 13%, p< 0.001); and current sex exchange (79% vs. 30%, p< 0.001). In the presence of other variables, crack cocaine smokers compared to non-crack cocaine smokers were significantly older, more likely to report current heroin injection, and more likely to report current sex exchange. Discussion: We found high levels of drug use and sexual risk behaviors as well as a number of risks behaviors associated with crack cocaine smoking among this very under-studied population. Targeted interventions are greatly needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-252
Number of pages4
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Volume114
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011

Keywords

  • Crack cocaine smokers
  • Exotic dancers
  • Female sex workers
  • HIV risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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