Indexed on: 10 Feb '10Published on: 10 Feb '10Published in: The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse
The aim of this work was to investigate the impact of life events on the profile of opioid dependent patients.Recruitment was achieved through outpatient drug treatment clinic in Birmingham, UK, and data were collected through semistructured interviews. One-hundred and twenty subjects with opioid dependence syndrome were interviewed, and 100 controls of non-drug-using family members and friends.The mean age of the opioid group was 33.3 years, SD = 8.8. The majority individuals of the sample were White British (80.8%), unemployed (69.2%), and male (75%). The mean severity of dependence as measured by two scales indicated severe level of dependence according to the authors of each scale. The mean number of traumatic events for the opioid dependence group was 4.8, SD = 3.57 vs. 3.55; SD = 3.65 in control group with significant difference (t = 2.56, df = 218, p = .01). Significant predictors of severe opioid dependency were age of second exposure to events, change of residence, break-up with boy/girlfriend, and conflict with father.The data presented indicate that a significant group of opioid dependent patients experience adverse life events in both childhood and adulthood. It is by attending to and addressing these issues that health care workers can alleviate ongoing distress and promote confidence.