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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 145-146

Is mental health at risk among opioid dependent patients?

1 Community Health Nursing, Fellow UICC Geneva, Independent Researcher, Amritsar, Punjab, India
2 Department of Community Health Nursing, Government College of Nursing, Government Medical College, Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Amritsar, Punjab, India
3 College of Nursing, Command Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Nursing, Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital, Ramnagar, Patiala, Punjab, India

Date of Web Publication19-Dec-2016

Correspondence Address:
Radha Saini
Mother Marry Institute of Nursing, Nasrala, Jalandhar, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2468-838X.196110

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How to cite this article:
Saini R, Saini DK, Bhatt CM, Alagh P. Is mental health at risk among opioid dependent patients?. BLDE Univ J Health Sci 2016;1:145-6

How to cite this URL:
Saini R, Saini DK, Bhatt CM, Alagh P. Is mental health at risk among opioid dependent patients?. BLDE Univ J Health Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Oct 28];1:145-6. Available from: https://www.bldeujournalhs.in/text.asp?2016/1/2/145/196110

Dear Sir,

The joint UNODC/World Health Organization (WHO)/UNAIDS/World Bank global estimate for 2012 of the number of people who had recently injected drugs was 12.7 million (range: 8.9-22.4 million), corresponding to a prevalence of 0.27% (range: 0.19%-0.48%) of the population aged 15-64 years.[1] India has a substantial opiate dependence problem with reports of up to 2 million addicts in the subcontinent.[2]

High rates of attempted suicide among opioid users have been reported in a number of recent studies[3],[4] with around 30% of participants reporting a lifetime attempt. This is an area lacking in research, requiring specific attention to heroin-dependent individuals, especially considering there is evidence to suggest ideation is predictive of attempts.[5],[6]

Keeping this in view, a standardized self-reporting questionnaire of 20 items (SRQ 20)[7] developed by the WHO was used to measure the presence of mental illness in opioid-dependent patients using cross-sectional research design. These patients were part of the complementary and alternative healing therapy session (morning session) organized by a local nongovernmental organization of District Amritsar, in October 2015. They were admitted in Swami Vivekananda Drug De-addiction and Treatment Centre, Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, District Amritsar, Punjab, India, and these sessions were administered to them on routine basis as part of their treatment regime by the authorities and they all were in the maintenance phase of the treatment (tablet buprenorphine). Out of total 72 clients, 54 consented to be the part of this study. The questionnaire consisted of twenty yes/no questions with a reference period of the preceding 30 days. It was translated in Punjabi, and it has acceptable levels of reliability and validity in developing countries and is recommended by the WHO as a screening tool.[7] Its administration took 5-10 min/client. Ethical consent was taken and complete confidentiality was maintained and even the names of clients were not asked. SRQ comprises questions related to somatic symptoms and anxiety and depression symptoms of clients.

Descriptive statistics were calculated to evaluate the mental health of clients. Results indicated that "poor appetite and sleep deprivation" were the maximally reported (96.29%) symptoms, followed by "easily tired," "daily work suffering," "thought of ending life," "feeling nervous", "tense and worried" (96.15%). 88.88% clients exhibited "feeling of worthlessness" and 85.18% clients "did not feel daily activities enjoyable," 83.33% "felt unhappy" and revealed their "crying patterns more than usual." As many as 81.48% "lost interest in things" and 77.77% had "poor digestion" and had "difficulty in making decisions." 74.07% reported "trouble thinking clearly" and 64.81% expressed "inability to play useful part in life" and as many as 46.29% revealed that they were "frightened easily," followed by "shaking of hands" (29.62%) and "often headaches" (25.92%).

There was no statistical significance of the independent variables (age, education, habitat) on mental illness among opioid-dependent clients at P gt; 0.05 level. These results are a wake-up call for our administrators and policymakers as these clearly indicate that there is an urgent need to provide comprehensive psychiatric services to our clients. Need of the hour is to train all our community health nurses, physicians, medical social workers, counselors, and staff nurses in carrying out regular "risk assessments" of these patients and practice the concept of "holism" in nursing care.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

The 2014 World Drug Report: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; 2014. Available from: https://www.unodc.org/documents//World_Drug_Report_2014_web.pdf. [Last accessed on 2016 Mar].  Back to cited text no. 1
Ganguly K. The pattern and process of drug and alcohol use in India. ICMR Bull; 2008. Available from: http://www.icmr.nic.in/bulletin/english/2008/bulljan-mar08.pdf. [Last accessed on 2016 Mar 08].  Back to cited text no. 2
Darke S, Ross J. Suicide among heroin users: Rates, risk factors and methods. Addiction 2002;97:1383-94.  Back to cited text no. 3
Mills KL, Teesson M, Darke S, Ross J, Lynskey M. Young people with heroin dependence: Findings from the Australian Treatment Outcome Study (ATOS). J Subst Abuse Treat 2004;27:67-73.  Back to cited text no. 4
Pirkis J, Burgess P, Dunt D. Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among Australian adults. Crisis 2000;21:16-25.  Back to cited text no. 5
Kessler RC, Borges G, Walters EE. Prevalence of and risk factors for lifetime suicide attempts in the National Comorbidity Survey. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1999;56:617-26.  Back to cited text no. 6
Beusenberg M, Orley J. In: Health DoM, editor. A user′s guide to the self reporting questionnaire (SRQ). Geneva: WHO; 1994. Available from: http://www.whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/1994/WHO_MNH_PSF_94.8pdf. [Last accessed on 2016 Mar 08].  Back to cited text no. 7


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