Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040
The Use of Premixed Drugs in Commodity Packets in the Population: Prevalence and Correlates Revealed by the 2018 National Survey of Substance Use in Taiwan
Shang-Chi WuLian-Yu ChenPo-Chang HsiaoTe-Tien TingCheng-Fang YenShu-Sen ChangChung-Yi LiHao-Jan YangChia-Feng YenChuan-Yu ChenJiun-Hau HuangYu-Kang TuWei J. Chen
Author information
JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS Advance online publication
Supplementary material

Article ID: JE20220356

version.2: December 28, 2023
version.1: July 15, 2023

Background: Administering premixed drugs in commodity packets was first reported in Asia in 2015, but there continues to be a dearth of related population-based data. This study aimed at examining (1) the prevalence of drug-packet use in the population and (2) the sociodemographic profiles, particularly gender distribution, of drug-packet users.

Methods: Data were derived from a survey of 18,626 Taiwanese civilians, aged 12–64 years, using stratified, multi-stage, random sampling in 2018. Participants anonymously completed a computer-assisted self-interview on tablet computers which covered the use and problematic use of illicit drugs/inhalants, prescription drugs, and other psychoactive substances.

Results: Approximately 1.46% of respondents had a lifetime use of illicit drugs, with drugs in commodity packets (0.18%) being ranked the fifth-most commonly used illicit drugs, higher than nitrous oxide (0.14%) and heroin (0.09%). Ten formats of drug packets were endorsed by users. Approximately 81.6% of persons with drug packet use had lifetime use of other illicit drugs. The correlates of the use of drugs in commodity packets were different from those of the exclusive use of other drugs, particularly concerning the lack of gender differences in the former category in the whole sample and the subgroups of various sociodemographic characteristics and other substance use.

Conclusion: Drugs in commodity packets have become a common way of administering illicit drugs in the population in Taiwan, and there were no gender differences among users. Our findings have implications for more efficient drug testing and culturally appropriate intervention for drug-packet use.

Content from these authors
© 2023 Shang-Chi Wu et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Previous article Next article