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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 212354 Find in a Library
Title: When the Drug of Choice is a Drug of Confusion: Embalming Fluid Use in Inner City Hartford, CT
Journal: Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse  Volume:4  Issue:2  Dated:2005  Pages:73-96
Author(s): Merrill Singer Ph.D.; Greg Mirhej M.A.; Susan Shaw Ph.D.; Hassan Saleheen M.D.; James Vivian Ph.D.
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 24
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study compared the characteristics of active drug users who use embalming fluid mixtures with those of active drug users who do not use embalming fluid mixtures.
Abstract: While reports of the use of embalming fluid mixtures have increased among urban youth populations, there remains considerable uncertainty about the exact composition of the drug. Some research has revealed that embalming fluid mixtures often contain phencyclidine (PCP), unbeknownst to its users. Thus, PCP may be gaining another generation of users who do not realize they are using the drug, which creates a serious public health concern. This study was part of a larger study that collected three waves of survey data in 2004 on emergent and changing patterns of street drug use in Hartford, CT. Participants included a sample of 242 street drug users and a matched sample of outreach workers who were recruited through street outreach efforts. Qualitative interview data and a urine sample were also collected from willing participants. Results revealed that users of embalming fluid often reported uncertainty about the contents of the drug. Analysis of the urine samples provided by embalming fluid users indicated the occasional presence of PCP as well as other drugs including cocaine. The findings are particularly troublesome because embalming fluid users tend to be young teenagers below the age of 18 years. Future research should focus on the long-term health and social consequences of the use of embalming fluid mixtures. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Drug abuse; Drug purity
Index Term(s): Connecticut; Drug research; PCP (phencyclidine hydrochloride); Urban area studies
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