Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/17677
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Type: Journal article
Title: The characteristics of heroin users entering treatment: findings from the Australian Treatment Outcome Study (ATOS)
Author: Ross, J.
Teesson, M.
Darke, S.
Lynskey, M.
Ali, R.
Ritter, A.
Cooke, R.
Citation: Drug and Alcohol Review, 2005; 24(5):411-418
Publisher: Carfax Publishing
Issue Date: 2005
ISSN: 0959-5236
1465-3362
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Ross, Joanne ; Teesson, Maree ; Darke, Shane ; Lynskey, Michael ; Ali, Robert ; Ritter, Alison ; Cooke, Richard
Abstract: The current study aimed to describe the characteristics (demographics, drug use, mental and physical health) of entrants to treatment for heroin dependence in three treatment modalities; and to compare these characteristics with heroin users not in or seeking treatment. Participants were 825 current heroin users recruited from Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne: 277 entering methadone/buprenorphine maintenance treatment (MT), 288 entering detoxification (DTX), 180 entering drug-free residential rehabilitation (RR) and 80 not in treatment (NT). Treatment entrants were generally long-term heroin users with previous treatment experience. The majority of the sample (55%) were criminally active in the month preceding interview. Injection-related health problems (74%) and a history of heroin overdose (58%) were commonly reported. There were high degrees of psychiatric co-morbidity, with 49% reporting severe psychological distress, 28% having current major depression, 37% having attempted suicide and 42% having a lifetime history of post-traumatic stress disorder. Personality disorders were also prevalent, with 72% meeting criteria for antisocial personality disorder and 47% screening positive for borderline personality disorder. Striking similarities were noted between the non-treatment and treatment groups in length of heroin use career, drug use and treatment histories.
Keywords: Humans; Heroin Dependence; Methadone; Buprenorphine; Narcotics; Treatment Outcome; Severity of Illness Index; Suicide; Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic; Depressive Disorder, Major; Residential Treatment; Comorbidity; Demography; Health Status; Metabolic Detoxication, Drug; Crime; Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; Adult; Patient Acceptance of Health Care; Australia; Female; Male
RMID: 0020052682
DOI: 10.1080/09595230500286039
Appears in Collections:Pharmacology publications

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