Epidemiological study of addicts admitted to Maamoura Psychiatric Hospital in Alexandria.

Abstract

This study was undertaken to reveal the epidemiologic characteristics of addicts, the various types of drugs used and the factors behind drug seeking behavior, as well as the outcome of treatment. Patients admitted for treatment to Maamoura Psychiatric Hospital in the period from July 1995 to January 1996 formed the sample of the present study. All were subjected to an interview questionnaire to collect the relevant data. Their personality dimensions were assessed using the standardized arabic version of the Eysenck Personality Inventory (form A). 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. Moreover, those subjects scored significantly higher on the Neuroticism and Extraversion personality subscales. Just more than one third (38.04%) sought the drug between 15 and 20 years of age and for an average duration of 12 years. Curiosity to experience the effects of the drug (66.30%), frustration (27.17%) and spending leisure time (21.74%) were the most frequently reported pushing forces behind such behavior. A little over a quarter of addicts (28.26%) were single drug users and 46.15% were current users of tranquilizers, while heroin was currently used by 66.66% of multiple drug users (71.74%). This was in addition to a number of pharmaceutical products including antitussives, antidepressants and antirheumatics. Only 55.43% of patients were previously admitted for in-hospital treatment and 54.90% of them completed the treatment regimen. Out of the latter, 82.14% abstained from drug intake for an average duration of 11.65 months, however, in 69.57% of instances, their psychological dependency was behind the relapse. This study highlighted the personality dimensions and motives behind drug seeking behavior, 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 program in addition to the effective control over the sale of addictive pharmaceutical products.

Cite this paper

@article{Khatwa1997EpidemiologicalSO, title={Epidemiological study of addicts admitted to Maamoura Psychiatric Hospital in Alexandria.}, author={S A Abou Khatwa and F A Kamel and R M Youssef and M S Attia and K Fawal}, journal={The Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association}, year={1997}, volume={72 1-2}, pages={87-112} }