Health Status of Illicit Stimulant Drug Users in Rural Ohio

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The SF-8 health survey was used to assess the physical and mental health status of a community sample of not-in-treatment, illicit stimulant drug-using adults (n = 249) living in rural Ohio. Physical health status scores indicative of poor health were present in 30.5% of the sample. Poor physical health was associated with older age (OR = 1.06; 95% C.I. = 1.02-1.11), chronic disease (OR = 2.24, 95% C.I. = 1.14-4.40), and frequent opioid use (OR = 3.14, 95% C.I. = 1.16-8.50). Poor mental health status scores were present in 63.9% of the sample. Men were less likely (OR = 0.25, 95% C.I. = 0.11-0.53), and Whites more likely (OR = 3.97, 95% C.I. = 1.56-10.13), to have poor mental health scores. Frequency and type of drug use had no measurable effect on mental health status. Physical and mental health problems are likely to be pervasive among nonmedical drug users in rural areas.

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