Title

"I'm a Health Nut!" Street Drug Users' Accounts of Self-care Strategies

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

1-1-2005

Abstract

This qualitative study analyzes data from in-depth interviews to describe self-care strategies among chronic and injecting drug users. While the types of strategies varied from participant to participant, the theme of proactive self-care remained strong throughout the data. Researchers identified five self-care domains discussed by the study participants. The self-care domains include strategies to improve nutrition, increase physical activity, address medical concerns, regulate substance use, and reduce sexual risk. Overall, these data indicate that chronic drug users are actively involved in managing and improving their health and attempt to take self-protective actions, even while continuing to engage in active drug use. These findings are particularly relevant for primary care providers, walk-in clinics, drug treatment programs, outreach workers and those engaged in harm reduction efforts. Recognizing that drug users are actively involved in taking care of their health can be an important strategy to build into any intervention or risk reduction program. © 2005 by the Journal of Drug Issues.

Journal Title

Journal of Drug Issues

Volume

35

Issue

3

First Page

607

Last Page

629

DOI

10.1177/002204260503500311

First Department

Social Work

Second Department

Behavioral Sciences

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