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Addicted to the needle : the relationship between needle fixation and impulsivity
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by S Hinton, Tania SignalTania Signal, V Ghea-White
Aim: This research examined the relationship between needle fixation and impulsivity in a bid to guide the development of treatments for needle fixation. The research also examined the position of needle fixation within contemporary diagnostic nomenclature. Design: Participants completed a battery of self-report psychometric tests to differentiate between needle fixated and non-needle fixated injecting drug users as well as to assess for impulsivity. Participants: Participants were 68 injecting drug users from Australia recruited via an online forum as well as via 10 sites of the Queensland Needle and Syringe Program. Measurements: Four psychometric tests were used: the Needle Fixation Profile, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, the Leeds Dependence Questionnaire and the Severity of Dependence Scale. Findings: Findings indicated that needle-fixated injecting drug users were more impulsive than nonneedle-fixated injecting drug users, but not significantly so. Conclusion: The results provide further support that the needle-fixated injecting drug users possess idiosyncratic characteristics requiring consideration in treatment. The findings of the research propel the position that needle fixation may be characterised as a behavioural addiction. Consequently, current evidence-based treatments for behavioural addictions could be modified to address the inherent difficulties of impulse control in those identified as needle-fixated injecting drug users.