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Research Papers

Drug addicts and their behaviour related to drug addiction among the institutionalized addicts of the Galle District

Authors:

PV De Silva ,

Lecturer in Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, Karapitiya, Galle, LK
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P Fonseka

Lecturer in Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, Karapitiya, Galle, LK
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Abstract

Background and Objectives: Drug addiction and rehabilitation of addicts have become a significant public health problem in Sri Lanka. However, relatively few studies have been carried out in drug rehabilitation centres in Sri Lanka. Lack of epidemiological health related data on drug addicts and their behavior related to the drug addiction have further impeded the development and implementation of preventive and health promotive activities targeting this group of people. Therefore, this study was carried out to provide a descriptive overview of drug addicts and their behavior related to drug addiction.
Methods: All the drug addicts admitted during a period of three months to the Drug Rehabilitation Centers in the Galle District were included in the study. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect the information.
Results: A total of 381 drug addicts participated in the study. Of them, 99% were males. Mean age of the drug addicts was 34.04 years (SD 7.5). A majority (74%) were Sinhalese. 94.5% of addicts had smoked cigarettes before drug addiction and only 5.5% had started drugs before commencing smoking. A majority (70.1%) started using drugs when they were in the age group 10- 20 years. Less than 1% used the intravenous route. In 88% of addicts their friends had introduced them to drugs and 74% initiated taking drugs as an experiment. Most of them (75.8%) were either self-referrals or referred by family members to the rehabilitation centres. More than 55% of drug addicts were readmissions.
Conclusions: In general, adolescent smokers are in a high-risk situation for drug addiction. They should be targeted in preventive and health promotive work. Parents of these adolescents should be more vigilant about the peers of their children since they are the main introducers of victims to drugs. High readmission rate indicates a low success in the rehabilitation process.  

doi: 10.4038/gmj.v13i1.886

Galle Medical Journal Vol.13(1) 2008 9-13

How to Cite: De Silva, P. & Fonseka, P., (2009). Drug addicts and their behaviour related to drug addiction among the institutionalized addicts of the Galle District. Galle Medical Journal. 13(1), pp.9–13. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/gmj.v13i1.886
Published on 29 Jul 2009.
Peer Reviewed

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