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Table 1 Variable definition and coding

From: Drug use, homelessness and health: responding to the opioid overdose crisis with housing and harm reduction services

Variable of interest Characteristic/experience absent or infrequent (0) Characteristic/experience present or frequent (1)
Outcome variable
Hospital use No—hospital care (overnight or longer) was not used within the last 12 months due to problems with emotions, mental health, or alcohol/drug use Yes—hospital care (overnight or longer) was used within the last 12 months due to problems with emotions, mental health, or alcohol/drug use
Demographics
Housing unstable No—did not identify as housing unstable Yes—identified as housing unstable
Sex Male participants Female participants
Ethnicity Non-indigenous participants Indigenous participants (first nations, metis, Inuit)
Age (real age) Participants entered age in years  
Location Calgary Medicine hat or red deer
Characteristics of drug use
Had an overdose No—did not overdose within past 6 months Yes—did overdose within past 6 months
How often: polydrug use Used more than 1 type of drug on the same occasion 2–4 times a month or less Used more than 1 type of drug on the same occasion 2–3 times a week or more
How often: heavily influenced by drugs Over the past year, are influenced heavily by drugs other than alcohol on a monthly basis or less Over the past year, are influenced heavily by drugs other than alcohol on a weekly basis or more
How often: irresistible longing to use Over the past year, you felt you had a longing to use drugs so strong that you could not resist on a monthly basis or less Over the past year, you felt you had a longing to use drugs so strong that you could not resist on a weekly basis or more
How often: unable to stop use Over the past year, you have not been able to stop taking drugs once you started on a monthly basis or less Over the past year, you have not been able to stop taking drugs once you started on a weekly basis or more
How often: neglected tasks due to use Over the past year, you have neglected to do something you should have due to having used drugs on a monthly basis or less Over the past year, you have neglected to do something you should have due to having used drugs on a weekly basis or more
How often: need to use in morning Over the past year, you have needed to use in the morning after heavy drug use the day before on a monthly basis or less Over the past year, you have needed to use in the morning after heavy drug use the day before on a weekly basis or more
How often: feel guilty due to drug use Over the past year, you have had guilty feelings or a bad conscience because you used drugs on a monthly basis or less Over the past year, you have had guilty feelings or a bad conscience because you used drugs on a weekly basis or more
Hurt due to use No—you or others have not been hurt (mentally or physically) due to your drug use Yes—you or others have been hurt (mentally or physically) due to your drug use
Others worry due to use No—relatives, friends, or medical professionals have not been worried about your drug use or said you should stop using Yes—relatives, friends, or medical professionals have been worried about your drug use or said you should stop using
Health characteristics
Diagnosed with addiction or mental health disorder No—health professional has not diagnosed you with an addiction or mental health disorder Yes—health professional has diagnosed you with an addiction or mental health disorder
Adequacy of non-hospital services
Inadequate: could not access Reported no problem accessing health care services that were perceived as needed. Services include: information about medical treatment, medication or tablets, counselling outside of a hospital, social interventions, skills training, harm reduction services, and medical care for physical health Reported needing a service but was unable to access the service
Inadequate: did not receive enough Reported no problem with accessing enough of the health care services listed above, either due to adequate amounts or not requiring them Reported needing more of a service but was unable to access the amount required