Factors Associated with Illicit Drug Use among Male Prisoners
Before, During, and Following Incarceration in the Mexico City
Machen, Alexandra Jay
Master's Thesis (105 pages)
Committee Chair / Thesis Adviser: McNaghten, AD
Research Fields: Health Sciences, Epidemiology
Partnering Agencies: International governmental organization (e.g., Agency for International Development, etc.)
Keywords: Illicit Drug Use; Mexico City; Depression
Program: Rollins School of Public Health, Epidemiology (Epidemiology)
Background: In Mexico, illegal drug use is a public health problem. Some of the principal risk factors associated with drug use include high rates of unemployment, low educational levels, dysfunctional families, and psychological and psychiatric problems. Prison populations have higher rates of illegal drug use than the general population.
Methods: In 2009, a random sample of 3,500 male inmates 18 years or older was given the self-administered questionnaire. 2,279 prisoners completed questions concerning drug use and potential risk factors associated with drug use included age, education, risk of depression, intelligence, employment prior to incarceration, and children. Stepwise logistic regression analyses were conducted to create three separate models to assess the changing risk factors associated with drug use before arrest, during incarceration, and following incarceration.
Results: Prior to arrest, prisoners with a risk of severe depression (aOR=1.45, 95%CI=1.07-1.96, p=0.0.0164) compared with moderate depression, and below average intelligence (aOR=1.59, 95%CI=1.02-2.48, p=0.0400)compared with definitely above average intelligence were significantly more likely to report drug use. Prisoners who were previously employed (aOR 0.45, 95%CI=0.25-0.82, p=0.0096) compared to not employed, had children (aOR=0.50, 95%CI=0.35-0.71, p=0.0001) compared with no children, and completed secondary school (aOR=0.56, 95%CI=0.38-0.84, p=0.0053) compared with preparatory school or more were less likely to use drugs prior to arrest. During incarceration, prisoners with a risk of severe depression (aOR=1.43, 95%CI=1.18-1.73, p=0.0003) compared with moderate depression were significantly more likely to report drug use, and prisoners age 35 to 44(aOR= 0.72, 95%CI=0.560-0.928, p=0.0111) compared to prisoners age 25 to 34, were less likely to use drugs. Following incarceration, prisoners with a risk of severe depression (aOR=1.59, 95%CI=1.15-2.19, p=0.0048 compared with moderate depression were significantly more likely to report high probability of drug use, while prisoners that had children (aOR= 0.634, 95%CI=0.460-0,873, p=0.0053) compared to prisoners that did not have children, were less likely to report high probability.
Conclusions: Information on drug use and risk factors associated with drug use among male prisoners in Mexico City's prisons can be used to tailor interventions to prevent and reduce drug use during and following incarceration.
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