|Year : 2010 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 250-253
Pattern of buprenorphine abuse among opioid abusers in Nepal
Tapas Kumar Aich, Manoj Dhungana, Roshija Khanal
Department of Psychiatry, Universal College of Medical Sciences, Bhairahawa, Nepal
Background : Although buprenorphine abusers are a common clinical entity, literature on them is rare in Nepal.
Aim : To assess whether injectable opioid abusers are any different a subgroup vis-a-vis brown sugar abusers in relation to their demographic and clinical profiles.
Materials and Methods : Seventy-six opioid abusers, who were admitted over a period of one year, in our de-addiction center, were included in the present study. They were divided into two groups based on the history of the presence or absence of buprenorphine injection abuse in them. The demographic and clinical profiles of these two groups were studied and compared.
Results : The most characteristic opioid abuse pattern was the abuse of brown sugar through inhalation (chasing). A total of 32 (42.1%) among them had a history of injectable drug abuse (IDU). Most characteristic buprenorphine abuse pattern seen was an evolution from injectable buprenorphine to triple injection to brown sugar abuse (Reverse Transition). Injection buprenorphine abusers, who attended our clinic, were older in age and had a history of a longer duration of abuse than their counterparts who abused opioid drugs through the inhalational route only. Their lifetime diagnosis revealed a polysubstance abuse pattern. They were more unstable, impulsive, and disorganized in their behavior pattern, suggestive of the presence of inadequate personality traits. There were high instances of injection-related side effects in the form of the presence of thrombophlebitis, HIV positivity, and clinical AIDS in them.
Conclusion : Findings of the current research indicate the presence of a subgroup of patient population among opioid abusers with a history of injectable buprenorphine abuse, with characteristic personality traits, pattern of drug abuse, and associated physical complications resulting from it.
Tapas Kumar Aich
Department of Psychiatry, Universal College of Medical Sciences, Bhairahawa
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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