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Treatment Status and Use of Psychoactive Substances in Deceased Drug Users

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

BACKGROUND: Studies on drug use are limited by the study populations available, which usually only include drug users in treatment settings. Therefore, the knowledge base is limited on drug users not entering treatment for drug use disorder (DUD). Using registers from departments of forensic medicine enables research on decedents with DUD, irrespective of treatment status.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to characterize and compare drug users not receiving treatment and drug users receiving treatment, in relation to cause of death, toxicological findings, and use of nonprescribed medication.

METHODS: Retrospective register-based study on deceased drug users with supplemental data from the Registry of Drug Abusers Undergoing Treatment and the Register of Medicinal Product Statistics in 2 observation periods: 2001-2002 and 2011-2012.

RESULTS: Two-thirds of the population were not receiving treatment at the time of death in both observation periods. Drug users receiving treatment were more likely to die from accidental poisonings than drug users not receiving treatment. There was no difference in mean age at the time of death between the 2 groups, and both groups were older in the second observation period. There was no difference in toxicological findings according to treatment status and the 2 groups did not differ in the presence of nonprescribed medication found in the blood at the time of death.

DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: The proportion of drug users that received treatment prior to death has not increased, and deceased drug users are mostly not in treatment for their drug use at the time of death.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEuropean Addiction Research
Sider (fra-til)1-9
Antal sider9
ISSN1022-6877
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2 okt. 2019

ID: 228361123