BACKGROUND: The intention of this study was to increase the knowledge concerning the rehabilitation of women with drug problems after the birth of a child and to find out how the children developed. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A follow-up study of 31 women, former drug and alcohol abusers and their children, 19 girls and 12 boys born in 1982-1983. The first survey took place when the children were 2-3 years of age, then when they were 7-9 and at last when they were 15-17. The biological mothers, foster or adoptive mothers, the children and their teachers were interviewed. RESULTS: The women got more support and control during the pregnancy than afterwards. Most of the mothers became single. Women with the shortest drug history, a good social network and a stable partner without drug problems kept the care of their children. By the first survey (1985), seven children had been placed in foster homes, in the second (1992) two further children had been taken away from their mothers, and in the third (1999) only one third of the children were living with their biological mothers. Most of the children did well at school and in their families, had friends and leisure activities despite still living by their mothers or in foster/adoption homes. None of the youngsters had been in conflict with the law or were drug abusers, but every second teenage girl needed psychological support. Children who had been stable by their drug-free biological mothers functioned best. INTERPRETATION: Mothers with drug problems do not get sufficient attention after the delivery and when the children grow up. A supporting family should be brought in contact with mother and child after the delivery. Under special circumstances pregnancy can be a positive turning point for women with drug problems.
Injection drug use and malnutrition are widespread among polydrug addicts in Oslo, Norway, but little is known about the frequency of abscess infections and possible relations to malnutrition.
To assess the prevalence of abscess infections, and differences in nutritional status between drug addicts with or without abscess infections.
A cross-sectional study of 195 polydrug addicts encompassing interview of demographics, dietary recall, anthropometric measurements and biochemical analyses. All respondents were under the influence of illicit drugs and were not participating in any drug treatment or rehabilitation program at the time of investigation.
Abscess infections were reported by 25% of the respondents, 19% of the men and 33% of the women (p = 0.025). Underweight (BMI 15 ?mol/L) was 73% in the abscess-infected group and 41% in the non-abscess-infected group (p = 0.001). The concentrations of S-25-hydroxy-vitamin D3 was very low.
The prevalence of abscess infections was 25% among the examined polydrug addicts. Dietary, anthropometric and biochemical assessment indicated a relation between abscess infections and malnutrition.
Abuse of benzodiazepines among heroin addicts in Copenhagen. The aim of this study was to investigate the extent of benzodiazepine abuse among heroin addicts, and to examine whether the heroin addicts with and without benzodiazepine abuse differed socially and psychiatrically. Social and medical information was drawn from the records for 98 heroin addicts who were registered for treatment at the institution Distriktscenter Vestre between 1.2-30.9.1994. Information about psychiatric admissions was taken from the Danish Psychiatric Register. The results showed that the heroin addicts with and without benzodiazepine abuse do not differ with regard to psychiatric data and basic demographic data. However, addicts with concomitant benzodiazepine ab-use were worse off concerning housing conditions, employment criminal records and amount and type of heroin abuse, and are thus in need of a more concerted treatment effort.
Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a popular recreational drug, a "designer drug", which has been developed from the basic structure in amphetamine. Ecstasy has now reached the illegal drug market in Denmark via the US, Great Britain and Sweden. The drug is related to a certain youth culture from which it is estimated that many drug abusers have been recruited. The desired effects of ecstasy, namely enhanced openness, awareness and empathy, have previously been used in various therapeutic connections. In later years the drug has led to abuse which, in connection with certain cultural behaviour patterns (for example in discotheques), can cause dangerous psychiatric as well as somatic effects. The undesirable psychiatric effects range from fear through depression to actual psychoses, and the somatic effects vary from symptoms of increased sympathetic activity to malignant hyperthermia, disseminated intravascular coagulation, rhabdomyolysis, renal failure, and lethal hepatotoxicity. The last mentioned symptoms occur in connection with prolonged physical activities such as exhausting dancing sessions. The article discusses the available treatments for conditions of abuse and stresses the need for prophylactic efforts in the form of information and awareness of the problem.
Among inner-city populations in Canada, the use of crack cocaine by inhalation is prevalent. Crack smoking is associated with acute respiratory symptoms and complications, but less is known about chronic respiratory problems related to crack smoking. There is also a gap in the literature addressing the management of respiratory disease in primary health care among people who smoke crack. The purpose of our study was to assess the prevalence of acute and chronic respiratory symptoms among patients who smoke crack and access primary care. We conducted a pilot study among 20 patients who currently smoke crack (used within the past 30 days) and who access the "drop-in clinic" at an inner-city primary health care center. Participants completed a 20- to 30-min interviewer-administered survey and provided consent for a chart review. We collected information on respiratory-related symptoms, diagnoses, tests, medications, and specialist visits. Data were analyzed using frequency tabulations in SPSS (version 19.0). In the survey, 95 % (19/20) of the participants reported having at least one respiratory symptom in the past week. Thirteen (13/19, 68.4 %) reported these symptoms as bothersome. Chart review indicated that 12/20 (60 %) had a diagnosis of either asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and four participants (4/20, 20 %) had a diagnosis of both asthma and COPD. Majority of the participants had been prescribed an inhaled medication (survey 16/20, 80 %; chart 12/20, 60 %). We found that 100 % (20/20) of the participants currently smoked tobacco, and 16/20 (80 %) had smoked both tobacco and marijuana prior to smoking crack. Our study suggests that respiratory symptoms and diagnoses of asthma and COPD are prevalent among a group of patients attending an inner-city clinic in Toronto and who also smoke crack. The high prevalence of smoking tobacco and marijuana among our participants is a major confounder for attributing respiratory symptoms to crack smoking alone. This novel pilot study can inform future research evaluating the primary health care management of respiratory disease among crack smokers, with the aim of improving health and health care delivery.
Children of drug-addicted mothers are at an increased risk of premature birth, neonatal complications, developmental delay, understimulation, deprivation, neglect, abuse and even premature death. Research results from four Danish centres are presented and discussed. The material covers the period from 1970-1983. The studies clearly show a need for more coordinated support and services for these families and their children in order to prevent a new generation of 'social losers'.
In 1988, Becker and Murphy [Becker, G.S., Murphy, K.M., 1988. A theory of rational addiction. Journal of Political Economy, 96, 675-700.] launched a theory in which they proposed that the perspective of rational decision-making could be applied also to cases of addictive behaviour. This paper discusses the theory's assumptions of interpersonal variation and stability in time preferences on the basis of estimates derived from three groups of people with different consumption levels of illegal intoxicants. We find that active injectors of heroin and amphetamine have a higher discount rate than a group reporting that they have never used the substances. Of greater interest, though not in accordance with Becker and Murphy's assumption of stability, we also find that the discount rate among active and former users differs significantly. These findings raise the question of whether a high time-preference rate leads to addiction or whether the onset of an addiction itself alters people's inter-temporal equilibrium.