Population-based studies on violent crime and background factors may provide an understanding of the relationships between susceptibility factors and crime. We aimed to determine the distribution of violent crime convictions in the Swedish population 1973-2004 and to identify criminal, academic, parental, and psychiatric risk factors for persistence in violent crime.
The nationwide multi-generation register was used with many other linked nationwide registers to select participants. All individuals born in 1958-1980 (2,393,765 individuals) were included. Persistent violent offenders (those with a lifetime history of three or more violent crime convictions) were compared with individuals having one or two such convictions, and to matched non-offenders. Independent variables were gender, age of first conviction for a violent crime, nonviolent crime convictions, and diagnoses for major mental disorders, personality disorders, and substance use disorders.
A total of 93,642 individuals (3.9%) had at least one violent conviction. The distribution of convictions was highly skewed; 24,342 persistent violent offenders (1.0% of the total population) accounted for 63.2% of all convictions. Persistence in violence was associated with male sex (OR 2.5), personality disorder (OR 2.3), violent crime conviction before age 19 (OR 2.0), drug-related offenses (OR 1.9), nonviolent criminality (OR 1.9), substance use disorder (OR 1.9), and major mental disorder (OR 1.3).
The majority of violent crimes are perpetrated by a small number of persistent violent offenders, typically males, characterized by early onset of violent criminality, substance abuse, personality disorders, and nonviolent criminality.
The influence of psychiatric comorbidity on the course and outcome in a nationwide representative sample (n = 351) of treatment-seeking substance users over a 28-month period was studied prospectively. The patients were administered the Diagnostic Interview Schedule and a questionnaire on drinking history. At 16 and 28 months after admission the patients returned a questionnaire on drinking history and mental health. In cases of those lacking information on either follow-up (45%), details on drinking status was obtained from informants. Completely abstinent were 16%. Generalized anxiety disorder and/or social phobia at the index admission predicted abstinence during the follow-up [odds ratio (OR) = 0.25], whereas onset of alcoholism among these patients after age 25 years predicted a worse prognosis (OR = 13.5). Also increasing number of social consequences related to abuse (OR = 1.3) and drinking more than the median (OR = 2.1) predicted a poor outcome. The abstinent group had significantly better mental health at follow-up. The patients with comorbid psychiatric disorders at admission were worse at follow-up. Although substance use disorders and comorbid psychiatric disorders have to a certain degree separate courses, there is nevertheless significant interaction between them. Early treatment and recognition of comorbid psychiatric disorders among substance abusers is necessary.
This 3-year follow-up study compares background variables, extent of criminality and criminal recidivism in the form of all court convictions, the use of inpatient care, and number of early deaths in Swedish institutionalized adolescents (N=100) with comorbid substance use disorders (SUD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (n=25) versus those with SUD but no ADHD (n=30), and those without SUD (n=45). In addition it aims to identify whether potential risk factors related to these groups are associated with persistence in violent criminality. Results showed almost no significant differences between the three diagnostic groups, but the SUD plus ADHD group displayed a somewhat more negative outcome with regard to criminality, and the non-SUD group stood out with very few drug related treatment episodes. However, the rate of criminal recidivism was strikingly high in all three groups, and the use of inpatient care as well as the number of untimely deaths recorded in the study population was dramatically increased compared to a age matched general population group. Finally, age at first conviction emerged as the only significant predictor of persistence in violent criminality with an AUC of .69 (CI (95%) .54-.84, p=.02). Regardless of whether SUD, with or without ADHD, is at hand or not, institutionalized adolescents describe a negative course with extensive criminality and frequent episodes of inpatient treatment, and thus requires a more effective treatment than present youth institutions seem to offer today. However, the few differences found between the three groups, do give some support that those with comorbid SUD and ADHD have the worst prognosis with regard to criminality, health, and untimely death, and as such are in need of even more extensive treatment interventions.
Previous studies have shown that substance misuse in adolescence is associated with increased risks of hospitalizations for mental and physical disorders, convictions for crimes, poverty, and premature death from age 21 to 50. The present study examined 180 adolescent boys and girls who sought treatment for substance misuse in Sweden. The adolescents and their parents were assessed independently when the adolescents first contacted the clinic to diagnose mental disorders and collect information on maltreatment and antisocial behavior. Official criminal files were obtained. Five years later, 147 of the ex-clients again completed similar assessments. The objectives were (1) to document the prevalence of alcohol use disorders (AUD) and drug use disorders (DUD) in early adulthood; and (2) to identify family and individual factors measured in adolescence that predicted these disorders, after taking account of AUD and DUD in adolescence and treatment. Results showed that AUD, DUD, and AUDÂ +Â DUD present in mid-adolescence were in most cases also present in early adulthood. Prediction models detected no positive effect of treatment in limiting persistence of these disorders. Thus, treatment-as-usual provided by the only psychiatric service for adolescents with substance misuse in a large urban center in Sweden failed to prevent the persistence of substance misuse. Despite extensive clinical assessments of the ex-clients and their parents, few factors assessed in mid-adolescence were associated with substance misuse disorders 5Â years later. It may be that family and individual factors in early life promote the mental disorders that precede adolescent substance misuse.
Drug dependency may develop during long-term benzodiazepine use, indicated, for example, by dose escalation. The first benzodiazepine chosen may affect the risk of dose escalation.
To detect possible differences in benzodiazepine use between new users of diazepam and oxazepam over time.
This 5-year prescription database study included 19 747 new benzodiazepine users, inhabitants of Norway, aged 30-60 years, with first redemption for diazepam or oxazepam.
Individuals starting on diazepam versus oxazepam were analysed by logistic regression with sex, age, other drug redemptions, prescriber's specialty, household income, education level, type of work, and vocational rehabilitation support as background variables. Time to reach a daily average intake of =1 defined daily doses (DDD) over a 3-month period was analysed using a Cox proportional hazard regression model.
New users of oxazepam had a higher risk for dose escalation compared with new users of diazepam. This was true even when accounting for differences in sociodemographic status and previous drug use (hazard ratio [HR] 1.33, 95% confidence interval = 1.17 to 1.51).
Most doctors prescribed, according to recommendations, oxazepam to individuals they may have regarded as prone to and at risk of dependency. However, these individuals were at higher risk for dose escalation even when accounting for differences in sociodemographic status and previous drug use. Differences between the two user groups could be explained by different preferences for starting drug, DDD for oxazepam being possibly too low, and some unaccounted differences in illness.
The objective of this study is to describe a urine drug-testing program implemented for parents with a history of substance abuse by family service agencies in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. Nurse collectors went to the parents' home to obtain urine specimens under direct observation and then delivered the specimens to the toxicology laboratory or arranged shipment by courier under chain of custody. Each urine specimen was screened for cannabinoids, cocaine metabolite, opiates, amphetamines and benzodiazepines, ethyl alcohol and creatinine. All positive screening tests were confirmed by another method such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In 15,979 urine specimens collected from 1994 to 1999, the percent positive rate for one (or more) drugs/metabolites ranged from 45.6% (1994-1996) to 30.0% (1998, 1999). A total of 575 specimens (3.7%) were dilute (urine creatinine