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: 2021, 23, N3 (pages: 29 - 36)

Somatic diseases in patients with opioid use disorder

Simonovska N., Velik-Stefanovska V., Babulovska A., Pereska Z., Kostadinoski K., and Naumoski K.

Summary: Background: compulsive opioid use leading to negative social, occupational, psychological, and physical consequences, including comorbid medical conditions. Aim: to assess the somatic diseases found in patients with opioid use disorder over a five-year period. Methods: This study has a retrospective cohort design over a five-year period (2013-2017). National patient electronic system “My Term” was used to collect data. The variables: gender, age, ethnicity, employment, duration and route of opioid administration, duration of hospitalization, somatic diseases, types of opioid substances used were analysed. Results: In all, 142 patients with opioid use disorder were analysed. The male gender was predominant. The mean age of patients in this study was 36.12±5.39, with average duration of opioid use disorder of 10.58±3.50 years. In the three groups of patients selected (current injectors, former injectors and oral users), methadone was the most frequently used drug (61.27%), followed by heroin (28.87%). Benzodiazepines were the second most frequently used drug (94.64%), mainly among current injectors (97.67%). About 33.10% of the patients had more than one somatic disease. Conclusions: Methadone was most commonly used as a single or combined substance in patients with opioid use disorder. Benzodiazepines were the second most frequently used drug, mainly among current injectors. The most frequent medical problems among current and former injectors were vascular changes, followed by skin changes and infections. Respiratory medical problems were common among patients with opioid use disorder who used drugs via inhalation.


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