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Characteristics of methadone related overdose deaths and comparisons between those dying on and off methadone substitution treatment: a national cohort study.

van Hout, MC, Crowley, D, Collins, C, Barry, A and Delargy, I (2017) Characteristics of methadone related overdose deaths and comparisons between those dying on and off methadone substitution treatment: a national cohort study. Heroin Addiction And Related Clinical Problems. ISSN 1592-1638

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Abstract

Background: Opioid users, particularly those with a history of injecting and dependence, have a high risk of fatal polysubstance and methadone related overdose. Aim: To describe characteristics of methadone related overdose deaths and assess if differences exist between those dying on and off opioid agonist treatment (OAT). Methods: A descriptive study of all persons dying of drug overdose involving methadone on the Irish National Drug Related Deaths Index (NDRDI) in 2012 and 2013. Results: A total of 182 methadone implicated deaths were recorded . 78% (n=142) were male; with a mean age of 36 years. Of the cohort, 61% (n=111) were not in receipt of opiate agonist treatment (OAT) at the time of death, 15.9% (n=29) had a previous history of non-fatal overdose and 24.7% (n=45) a history of alcohol dependence. Analysis and interpretations are limited by incomplete data on other characteristics but where available show that 89% (n=73) were injecting drug users, with 57.8% (n=26) injecting drugs at the time of death. History of mental illness was recorded in 96.3% (n=77) of cases, with 94.7% (n=107) having history of substance dependency treatment. Polysubstances were implicated in 86.8% (n=158) of deaths. The majority died in a private dwelling (74.7% n= 127) and were not alone 67.4% (n=114). Conclusions: Methadone related fatal overdose is a significant cause of death in young Irish, who share many characteristics with other drug related deaths. Improved monitoring, risk assessment and OAT retention strategies is warranted to inform national drug overdose plans and overdose prevention.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1117 Public Health And Health Services
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: Associazione per l'Utilizzo delle Conoscenze Neuroscientifiche a fini Sociali
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2017 12:16
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2018 09:25
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7750

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