Correlates of Injection Drug Use Among Rural Appalachian Women

Michele Staton, Gabriele Ciciurkaite, Jennifer Havens, Martha Tillson, Carl Leukefeld, Matthew Webster, Carrie Oser, Bridgette Peteet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Limited research has focused on correlates of injection drug use (IDU) among high-risk subgroups of drug users, particularly women, who may be at increased risk for transmission of infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C. The purpose of this study is to better understand the contextual and health correlates of IDU among women living in rural Appalachia by examining (1) differences between injectors and noninjectors, and (2) the unique correlates of recent IDU and past IDU. Methods: This study involved random selection, screening, and face-to-face interviews with 400 rural Appalachian women from jails in one state. Analyses included descriptive statistics, multinomial logistic regression, and stepwise regression to identify significant correlates of recent IDU and past IDU compared to never injecting. Results: Findings indicated that 75.3% of this randomly selected sample reported lifetime injection of drugs. Contextual factors including drug use severity (RRR = 8.66, P <.001), more male sex partners (RRR = 1.01, P <.05), and having injecting partners (RRR = 7.60, P <.001) were robust correlates of recent injection practices. Conclusions: This study makes an important contribution to understanding factors associated with IDU among rural Appalachian women drug users, which are strongly associated with both relational and health factors. Study findings on the specific factors associated with IDU risk have important implications for tailoring and targeting interventions that should include a focus on the relationship context reducing high-risk injection practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Rural Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 National Rural Health Association


  • Appalachia
  • drug offenders
  • injection drug use
  • rural women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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