The official journal of
EUROPAD - European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
WFTOD - World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
Editor: Icro Maremmani, MD - Pisa, Italy, EU
Associate Editors:
Thomas Clausen, MD - Oslo, Norway
Pier Paolo Pani, MD - Cagliari, Italy, EU
Marta Torrens, MD - Barcelona, Spain, EU
Statistical Editor:
Mario Miccoli, PhD - Pisa, Italy, EU

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Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems: 2023, 25, N4 (pages: 41 - 48)

Trends of hospital admissions for alcohol, cannabinoids, benzodiazepines and heroin-related intoxications among children, adolescents and young adults in Slovenia in the years 1999ā€“2019 and the possible impact of economic crisis

Lovrecic B., Lovrecic M., Simon M.R., Korosec A., Stibernik M., and Maremmani A.G.I.

Summary: Background. The present study analysed the hospitalisation trend due to exposure to alcohol, cannabinoids, benzodiazepines and heroin in children, adolescents, and young adults in Slovenia from 1999 to 2019. Methods: We performed a retrospective study based on the data from the National Hospital Health Care Statistics Database managed by the National Institute of Public Health of Slovenia, on patients discharged after hospitalisations due to mental and behavioural disorders or poisoning by alcohol, cannabinoids, benzodiazepines, and heroin. The diagnosis was classified according to the ICD-10. Bayesian Hierarchical Poisson regression on hospitalisation counts (also respecting population counts) using STAN was used. Results: In the period 1999-2019, hospitalisation rates due to acute intoxication with alcohol, cannabinoids, benzodiazepines, and heroin changed the most during the period of the economic crisis in Slovenia (2008 -2014): a significant increase in hospitalisation rates arising from acute alcohol intoxication in patients aged 15-19 years (both gender) and males aged 20-24 years, while in young adolescents (10-14 years) the hospitalisation rates began to fall at the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008. Among males and females aged 15-19, 20-21, and 22-24, hospitalisation rates due to acute intoxication with cannabinoids rose a few years later compared to alcohol intoxication rates. They peaked at the end of the economic crisis. Hospitalisation rates due to benzodiazepines peaked at the end of the economic crisis only in females aged 15-19. Over ten years (1999-2008), in all age groups, hospitalisation rates due to acute intoxication with heroin declined, which continued even during the economic crisis. Conclusions: Economic crisis reflects hospitalisation trends due to intoxication by different psychoactive substances. We must therefore improve the access to and the degree of collaboration between psychiatric services, addiction units and hospitals.


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