Health Consequences of Long-Term Injection Heroin Use Among Aging Mexican American Men in Houston, Texas, 2008 - 2011 [Restricted-use Files] (ICPSR 34896)

Version Date: Jan 21, 2015 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Patrick Bordnick, University of Houston

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The study is comprised of interviews from 227 Hispanic males aged 45 or older living in the area of Houston, Texas to address the gaps in knowledge on the social factors and health consequences of injection heroin use among aging Mexican American males. Specifically, the study investigated how the life course transitions of incarceration and drug treatment and drug abuse and family trajectories affect both the heroin career status and health consequences of these aging Mexican American men.

The study used a cross-sectional, field-intensive outreach methodology augmented with respondent-driven sampling. Recruitment was focused in two Houston neighborhoods that are predominantly Mexican American areas with high rates of crime, poverty, and psychosocial challenges. Trained Outreach Specialists familiar with these communities identified community gatekeepers and gained their trust through continued presence in the community and ongoing dialogue about the study. These gatekeepers then helped identify individuals meeting the inclusion criteria: Mexican American men aged 45 years or older with a history of injection drug use for at least 3 years. The men were then classified into one of three groups: current injectors (current group), former injectors not in treatment (former group), or former injectors currently enrolled in methadone maintenance treatment programs (MMTP group).

The second part is a second survey asking questions about social networks the respondent participates in. Questions ask the respondent to answer on one individual in their network and answer questions about that person and their interaction with them. Questions include basic demographics, history injecting drugs and sexual contact with the person.

Bordnick, Patrick. Health Consequences of Long-Term Injection Heroin Use Among Aging Mexican American Men in Houston, Texas, 2008 - 2011 [Restricted-use Files]. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-01-21.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Drug Abuse (R24 DA019798)

Access to the data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research. Apply for access to these data through the ICPSR data access request system portal, which can be accessed via the study home page. See the ICPSR data access request system portal for information and instructions.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

2008 -- 2011
2008 -- 2011

Mexican Americans have consistently had very high rates of injection heroin use and AIDS risk behavior when compared to other groups in the United States. Previous research focused on variations of injection drug use patterns as related to HIV risks with no differentiation made between age cohorts, even though injection heroin use tends to be associated more often with relatively older drug users within this population of Mexican Americans. As these heroin users age, they are confronted by many of the same social and health problems as other aging groups, however, their problems may be more severe given their heroin addiction histories. The specific aims of this study were to:

  1. Describe and compare the severity of drug dependence, co-occurring conditions and general health consequences of long term injection heroin use among the three comparison groups;
  2. Examine the sociodemographic and social conditions including family, social capital, and neighborhood residency variables that discriminate between the three comparison groups;
  3. Examine the variations in life course, drug abuse, family trajectories, incarceration, and drug treatment transitions; and
  4. Verify the mediating influence of social capital on the relationships among life course trajectories, heroin career status, and the health consequences of long-term heroin injecting in this Mexican American population.

Interviews were conducted face-to-face using a semi-structured instrument. Participants were compensated $40 per interview and an additional $10 finders fee for referrals of up to two other individuals who met inclusion criteria. Each referral chain was stopped after three links (i.e., the original individual, the two referred by him, and the four referred by those two) to ensure representation from a broad range of networks rather than focusing on all individuals from the same network.


Hispanic males aged 45 or older with a history of heroin injection.


Major sections within the main survey (Part 1) contain questions on the following topics:

  • Occupation and Income
  • Religion
  • Family relationships
  • Drug use
  • Drug treatment
  • Sexual behavior
  • Incarceration history
  • Physical health
  • Social capital
  • Memory

The second part concerning the networks of the respondent asks questions primarily about one other person regarding that person's drug use, sexual history, and the interaction he or she had with the respondent.

  • Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D)
  • General Health Questionnaire - 28 (GHQ-28)
  • Perceived Stress Scale (PSS)
  • Severity of Dependence Scale (SDS)
  • Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican American (ARMSA)



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Bordnick, Patrick. Health Consequences of Long-Term Injection Heroin Use Among Aging Mexican American Men in Houston, Texas, 2008 - 2011 [Restricted-use Files]. ICPSR34896-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-01-21.

2015-01-21 Part 2, the Social Network survey, was added to the study.

2014-12-12 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

The data files do not contain a weight variable.



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  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.