Florida Public Health Review

Publication Date



Much of the literature on heroin and opioid addiction holds that regular, long-term users of heroin and other opioids lose interest in sex as their drug using careers lengthen. Analysis of self-reports collected from IDUs in two cross- sectional surveys on patterns of risk behavior in Miami-Dade County, Florida, reveals that large proportions of IDUs report using heroin before or during sex across a wide range of self-injection experience, from as little as twelve months to over 40 years. One half or more of respondents to both surveys reported using heroin in their recent sexual experiences, with similar proportions reported by both males and females. The same IDUs, however, tend not to report using prescription painkillers before or during sex. This finding indicates that co-occurring risk behavior related to both sexual behavior and heroin use may be more prevalent among long-term IDUs than previous literature has suggested.