Illicit Fentanyl use in rural Australia - an exploratory study

Julaine Allan, Nicole Herridge, P Griffiths, A. Fisher, I Clarke, M Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

215 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Introduction and Aims: Australia has seen an increase in the non-medical use of fentanyl transdermal patches (FTP) and associated deaths, with an over-representation of deaths in rural areas. Non-medical use of FTP involves high risk preparation and administration methods. However, no rural Australian drug user-focused research has been published to date. Frontline workers are without up-to-date harm reduction information. This study aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of individuals using FTP for non-medical purposes. Design and method: Interviews were conducted with adult participants (n=12) who had injected FTP twice or more and resided in regional/rural NSW or Victoria. The thematic data analysis identified key points around participant's harm reduction practices, perceptions and experiences with using FTP. Results: Fentanyl was easily obtained in rural locations. Study participants described high risk preparation and administration methods. Misinformation shared across peer networks was likely to contribute to overdose. Discussion and Conclusion: Beliefs and practices about obtaining and using fentanyl are transmitted and reproduced across groups of illicit drug users, amplifying and distorting information about methods and harms of fentanyl use. However, fentanyl injectors were experienced illicit drug users who perceived they had good knowledge of ways to use fentanyl safely in spite of knowing people who had died from overdose. It is unlikely this group would seek out harm reduction information. Peer networks are critical sites of harm reduction action that are challenging to infiltrate in the rural context where dispersed populations, distance and risks associated with disclosing illicit drug use are significant barriers to disseminating harm reduction information. Peer-to-peer education is a costeffective method of disseminating correct health information and harm reduction messages in dispersed and isolated populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Fentanyl
Harm Reduction
Transdermal Patch
Street Drugs
Drug Users
Victoria
Population
Communication
Interviews
Education
Health

Cite this

Allan, Julaine ; Herridge, Nicole ; Griffiths, P ; Fisher, A. ; Clarke, I ; Campbell, M. / Illicit Fentanyl use in rural Australia - an exploratory study. In: Journal of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. 2015 ; Vol. 3, No. 2. pp. 1-7.
@article{7dced792f18847e297a9bcb95fce6048,
title = "Illicit Fentanyl use in rural Australia - an exploratory study",
abstract = "Introduction and Aims: Australia has seen an increase in the non-medical use of fentanyl transdermal patches (FTP) and associated deaths, with an over-representation of deaths in rural areas. Non-medical use of FTP involves high risk preparation and administration methods. However, no rural Australian drug user-focused research has been published to date. Frontline workers are without up-to-date harm reduction information. This study aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of individuals using FTP for non-medical purposes. Design and method: Interviews were conducted with adult participants (n=12) who had injected FTP twice or more and resided in regional/rural NSW or Victoria. The thematic data analysis identified key points around participant's harm reduction practices, perceptions and experiences with using FTP. Results: Fentanyl was easily obtained in rural locations. Study participants described high risk preparation and administration methods. Misinformation shared across peer networks was likely to contribute to overdose. Discussion and Conclusion: Beliefs and practices about obtaining and using fentanyl are transmitted and reproduced across groups of illicit drug users, amplifying and distorting information about methods and harms of fentanyl use. However, fentanyl injectors were experienced illicit drug users who perceived they had good knowledge of ways to use fentanyl safely in spite of knowing people who had died from overdose. It is unlikely this group would seek out harm reduction information. Peer networks are critical sites of harm reduction action that are challenging to infiltrate in the rural context where dispersed populations, distance and risks associated with disclosing illicit drug use are significant barriers to disseminating harm reduction information. Peer-to-peer education is a costeffective method of disseminating correct health information and harm reduction messages in dispersed and isolated populations.",
keywords = "Fentanyl, Prescription opioids, Peer-education, Rural Australia, Harm reduction",
author = "Julaine Allan and Nicole Herridge and P Griffiths and A. Fisher and I Clarke and M Campbell",
note = "Includes bibliographical references.",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.4172/2329-6488.1000196",
language = "English",
volume = "3",
pages = "1--7",
journal = "Journal of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence",
issn = "2329-6488",
publisher = "OMICS International",
number = "2",

}

Illicit Fentanyl use in rural Australia - an exploratory study. / Allan, Julaine; Herridge, Nicole; Griffiths, P; Fisher, A.; Clarke, I; Campbell, M.

In: Journal of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2015, p. 1-7.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Illicit Fentanyl use in rural Australia - an exploratory study

AU - Allan, Julaine

AU - Herridge, Nicole

AU - Griffiths, P

AU - Fisher, A.

AU - Clarke, I

AU - Campbell, M

N1 - Includes bibliographical references.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Introduction and Aims: Australia has seen an increase in the non-medical use of fentanyl transdermal patches (FTP) and associated deaths, with an over-representation of deaths in rural areas. Non-medical use of FTP involves high risk preparation and administration methods. However, no rural Australian drug user-focused research has been published to date. Frontline workers are without up-to-date harm reduction information. This study aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of individuals using FTP for non-medical purposes. Design and method: Interviews were conducted with adult participants (n=12) who had injected FTP twice or more and resided in regional/rural NSW or Victoria. The thematic data analysis identified key points around participant's harm reduction practices, perceptions and experiences with using FTP. Results: Fentanyl was easily obtained in rural locations. Study participants described high risk preparation and administration methods. Misinformation shared across peer networks was likely to contribute to overdose. Discussion and Conclusion: Beliefs and practices about obtaining and using fentanyl are transmitted and reproduced across groups of illicit drug users, amplifying and distorting information about methods and harms of fentanyl use. However, fentanyl injectors were experienced illicit drug users who perceived they had good knowledge of ways to use fentanyl safely in spite of knowing people who had died from overdose. It is unlikely this group would seek out harm reduction information. Peer networks are critical sites of harm reduction action that are challenging to infiltrate in the rural context where dispersed populations, distance and risks associated with disclosing illicit drug use are significant barriers to disseminating harm reduction information. Peer-to-peer education is a costeffective method of disseminating correct health information and harm reduction messages in dispersed and isolated populations.

AB - Introduction and Aims: Australia has seen an increase in the non-medical use of fentanyl transdermal patches (FTP) and associated deaths, with an over-representation of deaths in rural areas. Non-medical use of FTP involves high risk preparation and administration methods. However, no rural Australian drug user-focused research has been published to date. Frontline workers are without up-to-date harm reduction information. This study aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of individuals using FTP for non-medical purposes. Design and method: Interviews were conducted with adult participants (n=12) who had injected FTP twice or more and resided in regional/rural NSW or Victoria. The thematic data analysis identified key points around participant's harm reduction practices, perceptions and experiences with using FTP. Results: Fentanyl was easily obtained in rural locations. Study participants described high risk preparation and administration methods. Misinformation shared across peer networks was likely to contribute to overdose. Discussion and Conclusion: Beliefs and practices about obtaining and using fentanyl are transmitted and reproduced across groups of illicit drug users, amplifying and distorting information about methods and harms of fentanyl use. However, fentanyl injectors were experienced illicit drug users who perceived they had good knowledge of ways to use fentanyl safely in spite of knowing people who had died from overdose. It is unlikely this group would seek out harm reduction information. Peer networks are critical sites of harm reduction action that are challenging to infiltrate in the rural context where dispersed populations, distance and risks associated with disclosing illicit drug use are significant barriers to disseminating harm reduction information. Peer-to-peer education is a costeffective method of disseminating correct health information and harm reduction messages in dispersed and isolated populations.

KW - Fentanyl

KW - Prescription opioids

KW - Peer-education

KW - Rural Australia

KW - Harm reduction

U2 - 10.4172/2329-6488.1000196

DO - 10.4172/2329-6488.1000196

M3 - Article

VL - 3

SP - 1

EP - 7

JO - Journal of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

JF - Journal of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

SN - 2329-6488

IS - 2

ER -