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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 154-157

Characteristics of opioid drug users in an Urban Community Clinic

National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sonali Jhanjee
E-24, West Ansari Nagar, AIIMS Residential Campus, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9962.181103

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Background: Community-based treatment program is an approach for the treatment of opioid users that aims to engage, retain, and provide treatment to some of the most marginalized and hardest to reach populations in order to reduce the harms of continued opioid use. Aims: To describe the demographic and clinical characteristics of opioid drug users from a community clinic for opioid drug users in a metropolitan city of India. Methods: Oral substitution treatment with buprenorphine for opioid-dependent drug users was being carried out through a community clinic located in an urban resettlement colony in Delhi. The information on 104 opioid users attending the clinic was gathered by self-report on the drug abuse monitoring system questionnaire and a brief semi-structured proforma. Results: Majority of opioid-dependent (mainly heroin) drug users were male (97.1%) and most were married (58.7%). Around 33% were illiterate, and a large number (42%) were presently unemployed. Heroin was the primary drug of abuse in majority of the patients (97%). The mean age of initiation of opioid use was 20.3 ± 7.3 years and mean duration of opioid use 10.8 ± 8.9 years. Around 67.3% had a history of injecting drug use, while 49% were still injecting drug in the last 1 month. The highest rates of injecting drug use were among those who were between the ages of 18 and 25 years, unmarried, having some education, employed, and living in nuclear families. The significant risk factors for injection drug user (IDU) were being unmarried (odds ratio [OR] = 3.6, confidence interval [CI] = 1.2–10.9) and having sex with sex workers (OR = 2.9, CI = 1.4–7.7). A highly significant linear relationship was found between the number of risk factors and IDU. Conclusions: Studying the characteristics of opioid drug users and injectable drug use among people who use opioids will help to define treatment and preventive interventions.

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