Vancouver (2008-2012)

Overview

CISUR conducted twice-annual surveys of high-risk populations (street-involved youth, street-involved adults, and adults who use substances in social settings) in Vancouver from 2008-2012. Participants had to actively be using substances other than alcohol and marijuana once a month for the past six months in order to be eligible for the survey. These populations were selected because of elevated rates of illicit drug use within these populations and contexts, and the high levels of associated risks and harms.

The recruitment criteria for the street-involved adult cohort were amended in late 2009. Previously, participants were required to be active injection drug users, but the criteria was revised to remove the requirement of injection drug use in order to survey a broader group of illicit drug users. This section of the website will show information based on data between 2008 and 2012, when data collection in Vancouver ceased.

For further information on the surveys, including the survey instrument used, please see the high-risk populations section of the AOD Monitoring Project site.

The information presented here is just a fraction of the data we collect. You can find more data in our data tables, or contact us directly.

Most commonly used substances, vancouver

In the month prior to being interviewed, the most widely used substances among street-involved youth and social-setting adult cohort in Vancouver were tobacco, marijuana and alcohol, with ecstasy coming in fourth place. For street-involved adults, tobacco, crack and marijuana were the top three substances reported by this group, followed by alcohol.

Past 30 day substance use

Most commonly used substance, street involved adults, 2012

Among the street involved adult drug users interviewed in Vancouver during the second half of 2012, crack (86%) was the most commonly used illicit substance reported during the past 30.  Overall, tobacco was the most common substance reported in the past month at 94%.  Following those two substances were marijuana (62%), alcohol (50%), cocaine (42%), heroin (36%), and crystal meth (24%).

most commonly used substances, street-involved adults in vancouver, 2008-2012

Past 30 day ecstasy (x²=7.34, p<.05) use among street-involved adults who used substances in Vancouver showed a statistically significant decreasing trend over the seven waves of data collection from the second wave of 2009. No other trends were significant in Vancouver.

Injection drug use

injection drug use, street-involved adults in vancouver, 2008-2012

There were no statistically significant trends or changes in past 12 month injection drug use among adult street-involved users in Vancouver. Note that starting in the second wave of 2009, the eligibility criteria for the adult street involved cohort dropped the need to be a regular injection drug user. As such, significance tests were only conducted on the data starting from the second wave of 2009 when the criteria changed.

Prescription opioid use

prescription opioid use, street-involved adults in vancouver, 2008-2012

Methadone was the most commonly reported prescription opioid used in the past 30 days among this population, with dilaudid and morphine/ms contin coming up in second place. There were no significant trends in Vancouver for past month opioid use of prescription opioids.

opioid use while on mmt, street-involved youth and adults in vancouver, 2008-2012

In Vancouver, of those on methadone maintenance, over half of the adult and youth street-involved participants reported using heroin in the past 30 days. Around 20% had used dilaudid or morphine.

Notes

Linear-by-linear chi-square analysis was used to test significance of substance use over time.

Past 30 day substance use

top substances in past 30 days, street-involved youth in vancouver, 2012

In late 2012, when the final survey was conducted in Vancouver, less than half of street-involved youth who used substances in Vancouver reported using cocaine and ecstasy during the past 30 days. On the other hand, alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco are widely used in this cohort—a pattern similar to the one seen in Victoria surveys.

top substances used, street-involved youth in vancouver, 2008-2012

In Vancouver, past 30 day cocaine (x²=4.95, p<.05), crystal meth (x²=8.82, p<.01) and LSD (x²=11.26, p<.001) use among youth street involved drug users all showed a statistically significant overall upward trend over the ten waves of data collection between 2008 and 2012.

Prescription opioid use

opioid use, street-involved youth in vancouver, 2008-2012

The overall prevalence of prescription opioid use for the youth street involved cohort was lower than for the adult group. As such, there was not a large enough sample to test for significant trends in the youth cohort.

opioid use while on mmt, street-involved youth and adults in vancouver, 2008-2012

In Vancouver, of those on methadone maintenance, over half of the adult and youth street-involved participants reported using heroin in the past 30 days. Around 20% had used dilaudid or morphine.

Notes

Linear-by-linear chi-square analysis was used to test significance of substance use over time.

Past 30 day substance use

top substances consumed, social-setting adults in vancouver, 2012

When the final wave of data collection was done in Vancouver (late 2012), marijuana and alcohol were the substances most commonly used in the past 30 days among adults using substances in social settings.

top substances consumed, social setting adults in vancouver, 2008-2012

Past month cocaine use in Vancouver had been fluctuating over since 2008, but has a significant increasing trend overall (x²=7.48, p<.01) after a dip back in the second half of 2009.  Past 30 day ecstasy (x²=4.07, p<.05) use among adults who used in social settings in Vancouver showed a statistically significant upward trend between 2008 and 2012.  In this most recent wave, 56% reported using ecstasy in the past 30 days, while back in late 2011, 74% reported the same, but this difference was not statistically significant.  LSD (x²=6.82, p<.01) and mushroom (x²=12.89, p<.001) use in the past month in Vancouver also had significant trends. Mushroom use has a clear increasing trend since 2008.

Notes

Linear-by-linear chi-square analysis was used to test significance of substance use over time.