In recent years the use of illicit drugs has increased among adolescents in Sweden. Prolonged use of illicit drugs causes different psychiatric symptoms, but usage of short duration has also been reported to induce similar symptoms. It is less known how these psychiatric symptoms caused by occasional intake of illicit drugs are managed. The present study examined to which extent students in senior high school (third grade) have experienced psychiatric symptoms due to intake of illicit drugs, and to which extent they sought support in their nearby environment or professional help for these problems. The result shows that out of 104 18-year old students, 25 percent had tested illicit drugs, with no significant gender difference. 38 percent of the users reported psychiatric symptoms. In most of these cases either amphetamine or ecstasy had been used. The most common negative feelings reported were worry/anxiety, low spiritedness/depression, and feelings of unreality. The majority had not sought help for their problems among friends or adults. No one sought professional help. The frequency of adolescents that have tried drugs is on a level with other national surveys. Therefore it is most likely that the results regarding students who had experienced drug related psychiatric symptoms, and how they handled this experience, are representative for other eighteen-year-olds as well. It is of great concern that schools, medical services and social services have the knowledge that one fourth of the adolescents are trying illicit drugs, and almost four out of ten experience drug related psychiatric symptoms but most of them do not seek support or treatment for these symptoms.
This study investigates the effects of alcohol, drug intoxication and withdrawal symptoms on the mental state of criminal suspects and the nature of their confession. A total of 359 sentenced prisoners were approached on admission and 96% agreed to participate in the study. They completed a specially designed Confession Questionnaire, which asked them questions about their reasons for confessing to the police, their attitude towards their confession, their mental state at the time of the confession and the extent to which they had been under the influence of alcohol and drug intoxication at the time of crime and police interview. The confession rate for the sample was very high (92%), with serious traffic violators having the highest confession rate (95%) and sex offenders the lowest (83%). The findings illustrate that the "perception of proof", "internal need to confess" and "external pressure" are the main reasons why suspects confess. However, subjects were identified who had experienced a typical "prisoner's dilemma" phenomenon during the police interview because of a co-defendant. Alcohol and drug intoxication was very commonly reported both at the time of the offence and the police interview, but these were related to the nature of their offence. Although intoxication and withdrawal symptoms did not appear to seriously impair their coping during the police interview it was consistently reported as having made them confused.
Alcohol and drugs are important risk factors for traffic injuries, a major health problem worldwide. This prospective study investigated the epidemiology and the presence of alcohol and drugs in fatally and hospitalized non-fatally injured drivers of motor vehicles in northern Sweden. During a 2-year study period, blood from fatally and hospitalized non-fatally injured drivers was tested for alcohol and drugs. The study subjects were recruited from well-defined geographical areas with known demographics. Autopsy reports, medical journals, police reports, and toxicological analyses were evaluated. Of the fatally injured, 38% tested positive for alcohol and of the non-fatally 21% tested positive; 7% and 13%, respectively, tested positive for pharmaceuticals with a warning for impaired driving; 9% and 4%, respectively, tested positive for illicit drugs. The most frequently detected pharmaceuticals were benzodiazepines, opiates, and antidepressants. Tetrahydrocannabinol was the most frequently detected illicit substance. No fatally injured women had illegal blood alcohol concentration. The relative proportion of positively tested drivers has increased and was higher than in a similar study 14 years earlier. This finding indicates that alcohol and drugs merit more attention in future traffic safety work.
The objective of this study was to study the association between self-reported road traffic crashes (RTCs) and recent use of alcohol and medicinal and illicit drug use and self-reported speeding in the previous 2 years.
During the period from April 2016 to April 2017, drivers of cars, vans, motorcycles, and mopeds were stopped in a Norwegian roadside survey performed in collaboration with the police. Participation was voluntary and anonymous. The drivers were asked to deliver an oral fluid sample (mixed saliva), which was analyzed for alcohol and 39 illicit and medicinal drugs and metabolites. In addition, data on age, sex, and self-reported speeding tickets and RTCs during the previous 2 years were collected.
A total of 5,031 participants were included in the study, and 4.9% tested positive for the use of one or more illicit or medicinal drugs or alcohol. We found a significant, positive association between the use of cannabis and RTC involvement (odds ratio [OR]?=?1.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-3.57; P?=?0.035) and also between previous speeding tickets and RTC involvement (OR?=?1.39; 95% CI, 1.08-1.80; P?=?0.012). In addition, older age groups were found to have a significant, negative association with RTC involvement, with ORs equal to or less than 0.49, when using the age group 16-24 as reference.
Speeding, as an indicator of risk behavior, and the use of cannabis were associated with previous RTC involvement, whereas increasing age was significantly associated with lower risk. This is consistent with previous studies on RTCs.
Although the recommendations of scientific review bodies have traditionally been free of political interference in Canada, there have recently been growing concerns raised about Canada's new federal government's treatment of scientific processes and evidence. This concern is relevant to the scientific evaluation of Canada's first medically supervised safer injecting facility (SIF), which opened in Vancouver in 2003, where illicit injection drug users can inject pre-obtained illicit drugs under the supervision of nurses. This commentary describes what may be a serious breach of international scientific standards relating to the Canadian government's handling of the SIF's scientific evaluation, and the circumstances which eventually led to a moratorium on SIF trials in other Canadian cities. Although the primary focus of this discussion should remain on the health of the people using the SIF, it is hoped that the publication of the information contained in this report will lead to greater public scrutiny of the Canadian government's handling of addiction research and drug policy, and provide lessons for researchers, drug policy-makers, and affected communities in other settings.
Comment In: Int J Drug Policy. 2008 Jun;19(3):226-8; discussion 233-418424112
Comment In: Int J Drug Policy. 2008 Jun;19(3):231-2; discussion 233-418424113
Comment In: Int J Drug Policy. 2008 Jun;19(3):229-30; discussion 233-418424110
Cannabis is the world's most popular illicit drug, and around half of all Danes have tried it at least once. In this paper we review the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties of cannabis. We also discuss the treatment of cannabis intoxication and present data from The Danish Poison Information Center.
A sample of 416 pregnant women were interviewed with emphasis on their use of alcohol, tobacco, and legally prescribed and illegal drugs before and after onset of pregnancy. The results indicate a significant reduction in alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking and the use of legally prescribed and illegal drugs in connection with the pregnancy. There was no correlation between socio-economic level and use of intoxicants. There was a correlation, however, between the use of intoxicants by the pregnant women and the use of such substances by other significant persons in their environment.
This study examined the impact of infant and maternal factors on preterm delivery and low birthweight (LBW) in Alberta between January 1, 1994 and December 31, 1996. Data on 113,994 births were collected from vital statistics registration birth data. Logistic regression models for preterm and LBW delivery suggested the key risk factors were multiple and still birth (odds ratios > 22.0). Other characteristics included female gender, birth defects, nulliparous women, maternal age 35 and greater, unmarried, history of abortion, maternal smoking, maternal street drug use, and having less than 4 prenatal visits (odds ratios 0.86-2.54). Interactions between smoking and alcohol, and smoking and parity were noted. Efforts to improve the currently low rates (8.2%) of smoking cessation during pregnancy are required. Social, economic and medical factors associated with delayed childbearing and birth outcomes should be investigated.
While the community impacts of drug-related street disorder have been well described, lesser attention has been given to the potential health and social implications of drug scene exposure on street-involved people who use illicit drugs. Therefore, we sought to assess the impacts of exposure to a street-based drug scene among injection drug users (IDU) in a Canadian setting. Data were derived from a prospective cohort study known as the Vancouver Injection Drug Users Study. Four categories of drug scene exposure were defined based on the numbers of hours spent on the street each day. Three generalized estimating equation (GEE) logistic regression models were constructed to identify factors associated with varying levels of drug scene exposure (2-6, 6-15, over 15 hours) during the period of December 2005 to March 2009. Among our sample of 1,486 IDU, at baseline, a total of 314 (21%) fit the criteria for high drug scene exposure (>15 hours per day). In multivariate GEE analysis, factors significantly and independently associated with high exposure included: unstable housing (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 9.50; 95% confidence interval [CI], 6.36-14.20); daily crack use (AOR = 2.70; 95% CI, 2.07-3.52); encounters with police (AOR = 2.11; 95% CI, 1.62-2.75); and being a victim of violence (AOR = 1.49; 95 % CI, 1.14-1.95). Regular employment (AOR = 0.50; 95% CI, 0.38-0.65), and engagement with addiction treatment (AOR = 0.58; 95% CI, 0.45-0.75) were negatively associated with high exposure. Our findings indicate that drug scene exposure is associated with markers of vulnerability and higher intensity addiction. Intensity of drug scene exposure was associated with indicators of vulnerability to harm in a dose-dependent fashion. These findings highlight opportunities for policy interventions to address exposure to street disorder in the areas of employment, housing, and addiction treatment.