The growing popularity of prescription opioid injection in downtown Montréal: new challenges for harm reduction

Subst Use Misuse. 2011;46(9):1142-50. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2011.552932. Epub 2011 Mar 3.


Starting in 2007, a 2-year study based on ethnographic methodology was carried out downtown Montréal, Canada. A thematic analysis of observational and interview-based notes was conducted. Illicit prescription opioid (PO) use was widespread among street-based participants. Injection was the main mode of PO administration observed among users. Some injection practices such as "doing a wash" could pose new challenges in terms of prevention of infections. More research is needed to examine the role of illicit PO use in the development of opiate addiction and to better understand drug-using contexts that put PO users at risk of infections. The study's limitations are noted.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quebec
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous*
  • Urban Population*
  • Young Adult


  • Analgesics, Opioid