This study was undertaken to reveal some epidemiological characteristics of addicts, the various types of drugs used and the factors behind drug seeking behaviour, as well as the outcome of treatment.
All new admissions to the ward of drug addicts in Maamoura Psychiatric Hospital during the period from July 1995 to January 1996 were included in the present study. All of them were subjected to an interview questionnaire to collect the necessary data. During the study period, 92 patients were admitted to Maamoura Hospital for treatment. Compared to population figures, drug addiction was found to be a problem of educated, single men. Just more than one third [38.04%] sought the drug between 15 and 20 years of age. For the whole sample, the average duration of the problem was 12 years. Curiosity to experience the effects of the drug [66.30%], outlet for social problems [27.17%], spending leisure time [21.74%], as well as enhancing sexual activity [15.22%] were the most frequently reported pushing forces behind such behaviour. The majority of addicts were multiple drug users [71.74%], while single drug users constituted 28.26% of the sample. Tranquilizers were used by nearly half [46.15%] of the single drug users, while heroin was found to be the basic drug for 66.66% of multiple drug users. This is in addition to a number of pharmaceutical products including antitusives, antidepressants, and antirheumatics. Only 55.43% of patients were previously admitted to the same hospital for treatment and 54.90% of them completed the treatment regimen. Out of the latter, 82.14% refrained from drug intake for an average duration of 11.65 months however, in 69.58% of the instances their psychological dependency was behind the relapse. In conclusion, this study highlighted the motives behind drug seeking behaviour, the various pharmaceutical products used, as well as the treatment effects and outcome. These findings call for the organization of educational and social support services, as well as the provision of relapse prevention programmes in addition to the effective control over the sale of addictive pharmaceutical products
S. A. Abou Khatwa ,
Epidemiological study of addicts admitted to Maamoura Psychiatric Hospital in Alexandria,
Bull. High Inst. Public Health. 1997;
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