Home > Experience of heroin overdose among drug users attending general practice.

Cullen, Walter and Bury, Gerard and Langton, Deirdre (2000) Experience of heroin overdose among drug users attending general practice. British Journal of General Practice , 50 , (456) , pp. 546-549.

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Heroin overdose is responsible for significant mortality. It has not previously been highlighted as an important prevention or care issue for general practitioners involved in the management of drug misuse. The aim of this paper was to examine the prevalence and experience of heroin overdose in a population of drug users attending a general practice in Dublin, Ireland.

A researcher administered a questionnaire to identified drug users attending a general practice in Dublin. Twenty-four (73% of estimated total) drug users were interviewed. Although 17 (71%) were on recognised methadone treatment programmes, 10 (42%) were still injecting heroin. A total of 23 (96%) had witnessed an overdose, with 10 (42%) having been victims of overdose themselves. Twenty-two (92%) knew a victim of fatal overdose, with four (17%) having been present at a fatal overdose.

The interviews revealed high levels of activity associated with overdose and poor use of preventive measures. The authors conclude that the issue of prevention and management of overdose should become a priority for GPs caring for opiate-dependent patients.

 

Item Type:Article
Date:2000
Page Range:pp. 546-549
Publisher:Royal College of General Practioners
Volume:50
Number:456
EndNote:View
Subjects:VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland > Dublin
T Demographic characteristics > Substance user
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care programme or facility > Community-based treatment (primary care)
G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Drug use > Drug intoxication > Poisoning (overdose)

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