Drug abuse, methadone treatment, and health services use among injection drug users with AIDS

Usha Sambamoorthi, Lynn A. Warner, Stephen Crystal, James Walkup

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71 Scopus citations


This paper compares health care use across subgroups of injection drug users (IDUs) with AIDS, as defined by current drug abuse status and participation in methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), using surveillance-identified IDU status and health care claims data. Merged Medicaid and AIDS surveillance data were analyzed using ordinary least squares regression, simple logistic regression and multinomial logistic regression. Consistent MMT was more likely among women, Whites and older subjects. Monthly total expenditures and inpatient expenditures were significantly lower for IDUs in MMT than for IDUs with claims indicative of current drug abuse. Consistent participation in MMT was associated with a higher probability of antiretroviral use and, among antiretroviral users, more consistent use of antiretrovirals. Merged administrative data sets can be an important data source that illuminate the relationships among drug abuse, drug treatment, and HIV-related health care. For AIDS-infected IDUs, consistent MMT may lower barriers to receipt of appropriate HIV-related health care and reinforce adherence to medical recommendations. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-89
Number of pages13
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • Drug abuse
  • Medicaid
  • Methadone maintenance treatment


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