VOLUME 38 | ISSUE 5 | SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2018

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Patterns and sociodemographic characteristics of substance abuse in Al Qassim, Saudi Arabia: a retrospective study at a psychiatric rehabilitation center

Yasir Ibrahim,a Shalam M. Hussain,b Sulaiman Alnasser,b Hesham Almohandes,a Ishaque Sarhandic

From the aDepartment of Psychiatric Medicine, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center, Buraidah, Saudi Arabia; bDepartment of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Unaizah College of Pharmacy, Qassim University, Unaizah, Saudi Arabia; cDepartment of Psychiatry, Sulaiman AlRajhi Colleges, Al Qassim, Saudi Arabia

How to cite this article:

Ibrahim Y, Hussain SM, Alnasser S, Almohandes H, Sarhandi I. Patterns and sociodemographic characteristics of substance abuse in Al Qassim, Saudi Arabia: a retrospective study at a psychiatric rehabilitation center. Ann Saudi Med 2018; 38(5): 319-325.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The problem of substance abuse is one of the top 20 risk factors for poor health worldwide. Though widely prevalent in the Middle East, there are few studies in Saudi Arabia.

 

OBJECTIVE: Record the pattern of substances abuse and the sociodemographic characteristics of abusers attending the local rehabilitation center.

 

DESIGN: Descriptive, retrospective medical record review.

 

SETTING: Patients admitted to psychiatric rehabilitation center.

 

METHODS: The sample included all patients admitted to a rehabilitation center during the period of January 2016–December 2016. Data was collected retrospectively from patient records.

 

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Descriptive epidemiological data and statistical comparisons.

 

SAMPLE SIZE: 612 patients.

 

RESULTS: The majority of patients (73%) were 21-40 years of age. Polysubstance abuse (60%) and amphetamine (24%) abuse were most predominant (45%) in the 20-40 years old and high school dropouts (41%). The average number of drugs being used by polysubstance abusers was 2.5 (and the maximum was 6). There was no relationship of family history of drug abuse and mental illness.

 

CONCLUSION: There was an increased use of polysubstances and amphetamine with a decreased abuse of prescription drugs when compared to previous studies reported in Saudi Arabia. There was a decreasing prevalence for heroin and alcohol. Substance abusers have certain epidemiological, social and drug patterns and we recommend that authorities and planners integrate their efforts to look for the reasons for substance abuse.

 

LIMITATIONS: Females not included and prevalence of tobacco smoking not studied.

 

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: None.

 

 

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