The long-term follow-up of 172 patients admitted at nine drug de-addiction camps revealed that 40-50 per cent substance users could abstain from drugs. The findings were shared by the Psychiatry Department of GMCH-32.
A study, ‘Long-term outcome of substance abuse treatment through integrated camp approach,’ which was conducted last year, was displayed at the ongoing de-addiction camp in Dhanas, wherein the psychiatrists highlighted the relevance of such camps.
Since 1997, the Department of Psychiatry, GMCH-32, has been organising de-addiction camps in the periphery of the city, where prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse was known to be high.
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“A total of nine camps were held between 1999 and 2010, and 182 patients were admitted to these camps. Out of the total number of patients, 10 died and the team could contact 147 (85 per cent) out of the remaining 172 patients,” said Dr Ajeet Sidana, psychiatrist, GMCH-32.
The follow-up was divided into two groups. The patients treated till 2003 (more than 10 years of follow-up) were included into group 1 and the rest (follow from three-10 years) were included in group 2.
The status of substance use was recorded under three headings-abstinent (not used substance at all after discharged from the camp) , intermittent use of substance (use occasionally), relapsed (became addicted again).
Out of the 65 patients who were admitted prior to 2003, 34 (52.31 per cent) were abstinent, 15 (23.07 per cent) used the substance intermittently and 16 (24.62 per cent) relapsed.
Out of the 82 patients admitted after 2003, 35 (42.68 per cent) were abstinent, 13 (15.85 per cent) were intermittent users and 34 (41.46 per cent) relapsed.
The primary substances used by the patients before admission to the camp were alcohol (69), opiates (38), solvents (15), IV drugs (14), cannabis (8) and nicotine (3).
“It is notable that after 10 years of follow-up (group 1) , almost 50 per cent of the patients could maintain. In addition, another 25 per cent were using the substance only intermittently. Thus, 75 per cent patients showed a good outcome. The relapse rate in this group was only 25 per cent,” said Dr Sidana.
He added that among patients with three- 10 years of follow-up (group 2), about 40 per cent patients remained abstinent, 18 per cent were using the substance only intermittently and thus, about 60 per cent had a good outcome.
“The results of the current study clearly suggest that community-based de-addiction services are associated with more acceptances, higher rates of abstinence and lower rates of relapse at follow-up. Thus, the focus for de-addiction services should be on developing more community-based services”, concluded the study.