A rapid systematic review on the association between childhood physical and sexual abuse and illicit drug use among males
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This paper aims to review studies in relation to the association between childhood physical (CPA) and sexual abuse (CSA) and illicit drug use among the male clinical and general community populations using a systematic approach. Primary studies were identified using online databases which were searched comprehensively using a set of pre-determined search criteria and terms. Other sources included expert contact and the reference list of a relevant review. Associations between exposure (CPA/CSA) and outcome (illicit drug use) were considered with regards to an array of factors. A total of 5012 references were initially identified out of which 18 studies met the necessary criteria for reviewing. The review demonstrates tentative support for factors such as earlier drug initiation, intravenous drug use and greater frequency of use among some of the samples. It also demonstrates the difficulties involved in drawing conclusions due to the complex and multifaceted nature of drug use and the variability in the quality of the research available in this area. Limitations of the current review are highlighted and recommendations offered for future research with consideration given to practical implications in clinical and forensic settings. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.