Terminology for drug injection practices among intravenous drug users in Baltimore

A. M. Smith, D. Vlahov, A. S. Menon, J. C. Anthony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Terms for four discrete drug injection practices were obtained by presenting photographs and a brief description of practices to intravenous drug users who enrolled in a longitudinal study of HIV infection in Baltimore. The 2,921 respondents were predominately male (81%) and Black (90%), the median age was 34 years (range: 18-68 years), and the median duration of intravenous drug use was 13 years (range 0-50 years). Forty-six different terms were used to characterize direct injection into a vein, 51 for the practice of repeatedly withdrawing and reinjecting one's own blood following injection of drug, 39 for subcutaneous injection, and 45 for transferring drug between different syringes. Terms tended to cluster by race and duration of drug use. These data indicate substantial variation in terminology for drug injection practices. Further, they augment prior research showing that photographs may be used as a useful aid in survey research on drug experiences in the population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-453
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of the Addictions
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Terminology for drug injection practices among intravenous drug users in Baltimore'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this