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The CHANGE Study: Methods and Sample Description for a Cross-Sectional Study of Heroin Cessation in New York City


The CHANGE (Cessation of Heroin: A Neighborhood Grounded Exploration) Study aimed to understand factors associated with the initiation and maintenance of sustained heroin cessation from the perspective of users themselves and specifically set out to document the correlates of natural recovery. The CHANGE Study was a case-control study conducted in New York City from 2009 to 2011. Cases were former heroin users, abstinent for 1-5 years in the past 5 years. Controls used heroin at least weekly during the past 5 years and were (1) continuous heroin users without a quit attempt of ≥2 weeks' duration or (2) relapsed heroin users who were currently using and had a quit attempt of ≥2 weeks' duration during the past 5 years. Recruitment and data collection methods are described along with limitations and a brief description of the study sample. In contrast to many studies of drug use and cessation, the CHANGE Study was designed to model success (i.e., initiation and maintenance of heroin cessation) and not failure.

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