Interest in reducing methamphetamine and opioid use among syringe services program participants in Washington State

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020 Nov 1;216:108243. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108243. Epub 2020 Aug 23.


Background: Methamphetamine use is increasing, and opioid use remains elevated in the US. Understanding interest in reducing/stopping substance use among people who inject drugs (PWID), as well as types of help wanted, can inform interventions.

Methods: Data from the 2019 Washington State Syringe Exchange Survey were used in logistic regression analyses to assess if demographics, substance use, and concern about anxiety or depression were associated with interest in reducing/stopping substance use among people whose main drug was methamphetamine or opioids. Types of help wanted to reduce/stop use are reported.

Results: Of 583 participants included, 76 % reported opioids were their main drug, of whom 82 % were interested in reducing/stopping their opioid use. 24 % reported methamphetamine as their main drug, of whom 46 % were interested in reducing/stopping their methamphetamine use. Among those whose main drug was an opioid, female gender (AOR:2.19, p = .023) and concern about depression (AOR:3.04, p = .002) were associated with interest in reducing/stopping opioid use. Among participants whose main drug was methamphetamine, being in jail in the past year and having an infection likely related to injection (e.g., abscess) in the past year were associated with over twice the odds of interest in reducing/stopping methamphetamine use (AOR:2.14, p = .056 and 2.43, p = .052, respectively); however, these findings were not significant. Several types of help to reduce/stop use were endorsed.

Conclusion: There were high, though differing, levels of interest in reducing/stopping opioid or methamphetamine use and in a range of support services. PWID should be asked about interest in reducing/stopping use and provided appropriate support.

Keywords: Methamphetamine; Opioids; People who inject drugs; Substance use treatment; Syringe services programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methamphetamine*
  • Middle Aged
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / epidemiology*
  • Syringes
  • Washington
  • Young Adult


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Methamphetamine