Crack-Cocaine Users as Victims of Physical Attack.

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This study evaluates the correlates of physical attack among people who use crack cocaine in Dayton, Ohio. Using a retrospective and prospective natural history design, data from baseline and 1-year follow-up interviews were used to calculate the prevalence of physical attack and the annual rate of physical attack suffered by 440 not-in-treatment crack-cocaine users. Logistic regression was used to determine the correlates of physical attack. The lifetime prevalence of physical attack was 63.0%; the annual rate was 36.8%. At baseline, daily crack users were more likely to report a previous attack since they began using crack (odds ratio [OR], 1.81; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18-2.77). Longer duration of crack use was also associated with experiencing an attack (OR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.04-1.14). Between baseline and 12-month follow-up, the odds of men being attacked were significantly less than those for women (OR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.23-0.99). Physical attack is widespread among crack-cocaine users, and does not vary by ethnicity. Injuries often result in the need for medical care. Over the short term, women are at increased risk. Accessible and effective drug abuse treatment is needed to diminish the harm this population suffers.