Qijian Deng and Quansheng Tang contributed equally to this work.
Drug use in rural China: a preliminary investigation in Hunan Province
Article first published online: 8 FEB 2012
© 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 107, Issue 3, pages 610–613, March 2012
How to Cite
Deng, Q., Tang, Q., Schottenfeld, R. S., Hao, W. and Chawarski, M. C. (2012), Drug use in rural China: a preliminary investigation in Hunan Province. Addiction, 107: 610–613. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03648.x
- Issue published online: 8 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 8 FEB 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 10 SEP 2011 06:03AM EST
- Submitted 19 May 2011; initial review completed 6 July 2011; final version accepted 29 August 2011
- drug abuse;
- drug treatments;
- injection drug use;
- rural areas
Aims To compare characteristics and illicit drug abuse patterns among drug abusers in rural and urban areas of Hunan Province, China.
Measurements and design Data collected by public security bureau on newly registered drug abusers between 2005 and 2008 in five urban and five rural areas (n = 1639) were extracted anonymously and analyzed.
Setting and participants All newly registered drug users in urban (n = 812) and rural (n = 827) areas of Hunan Province were included.
Findings Drug users from the rural areas were younger [31 (6.6) versus 34 (8.0) years, P < 0.001], with a higher proportion of males (86% versus 82%, P < 0.05) or married (34% versus 27%, P < 0.01). Rural drug users reported an earlier onset of drug use [27 (5.9) versus 30 (7.9) years old, P < 0.001], were more likely to report heroin as their primary drug of abuse (53% versus 47%, P < 0.001) and had a lower prevalence of criminal activities (19% versus 31%, P < 0.001). Rural drug users were less likely to report needle sharing (1.8% versus 4.3%, P < 0.01), less likely to report being human immunodeficiency virus positive (0.8% versus 2.6%, P < 0.01) and less likely to report prior drug treatment participation (2.8% versus 6.8%, P < 0.001).
Conclusions Drug abuse is a substantial problem in both urban and rural areas in China. The very low proportion of newly registered drug users reporting any prior drug abuse treatment points to the importance of expanding substance abuse treatments, especially in rural areas where treatment penetration is even lower than in urban areas.