Buxton J, Coser L, Van Borek N, Botnick M, Chambers C, Taylor D, Saewyc E. (2010). Service providers’ and street-involved youth perspectives on preventing the transition into injection drug use among street-involved youth: Successes, barriers and opportunities for youth prevention services [abstract]. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, Volume 9, Issue 4, pages 341-342.

“The Youth Injection Prevention (YIP) Project” is a research study collaboratively conducted by the BC Centre for Disease Control, University of British Columbia (University of British Columbia) School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia School of Nursing, community partners and youth coresearchers. It focuses on identifying service components that may prevent the transition into injection drug use among street-involved youth aged 15 to 24 in Metro Vancouver, BC, through both service providers’ and street-involved youth’s perspectives. Twenty-four (n = 24) interviews were conducted with service providers from February to June 2009; 15 interviews and 10 focus groups were conducted with street-involved youth (n = 60) from November 2009 to April 2010. Service providers and youth participants were recruited through community partners. Audio recordings and field notes from interviews were transcribed verbatim. Emergent themes were identified by constant comparative method, while NVivo 8 qualitative software was used to organize the data. Comparing youth and providers’ perspectives on this topic, more similarities than differences emerged. Main threads identified were: service components, barriers, and recommendations. Preliminary findings suggest (a) service components that attract and engage youth include: capacity and relationship building, nonjudgmental policies, peer education, and recreational activities; (b) barriers that prevent youth from connecting with services include abstinence based-programming, age restrictions, limited hours/staffing, and service location; (c) recommendations for prevention strategies include community-specific interventions, low barrier services, and youth input in program design, implementation, and evaluation. Study results will inform youth-driven, community-based prevention strategies that aim to prevent the transition into IDU and/or reduce the harms associated with injecting among street-involved at-risk youth.

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