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Trends of people using drugs and opioid substitute treatment recorded in England and wales general practice (1994-2012).

Davies HR, Nazareth I, Petersen I - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Reduction of overall illegal drug use in England and Wales has decreased from 11% to 8.2% (2012/13) over the past 10 years.Overall, males (IRR 2.02, 95% CI:1.97-2.07), people in the age-group; 16-24 (IRR 6.7, 95% CI:6.4-6.9) compared to those over 25 years and the most deprived (IRR 4.2, 95% CI:3.9-4.4) were more likely to have a recording of drug use.Most drug users do not receive treatment in primary care.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University College London Department of Primary Care and Population Health, Rowland Hill Street, London, NW3 2PF, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

Background: Illicit drug use is a multifaceted public-health problem with potentially serious impacts. The United Kingdom has one of the highest prevalence of illegal drug use in Europe. Reduction of overall illegal drug use in England and Wales has decreased from 11% to 8.2% (2012/13) over the past 10 years. People who use drugs often seek help from their family doctors.

Aims: To investigate General Practitioners (family doctors) first recording of drug use and opioid substitute treatment in primary care settings.

Design: A descriptive study design. Males and females (16-64 years old) were extracted from The Health Improvement Network (THIN) database.

Setting: England and Wales primary care.

Method: The first recording of drug use and opioid substitution treatment in primary care was estimated for the period (1994-2012). Poisson regressions were conducted to estimate incidence risk ratios (IRR).

Results: We identified 33,508 first recordings of drug use and 10,869 individuals with prescriptions for opioid substitute treatment. Overall, males (IRR 2.02, 95% CI:1.97-2.07), people in the age-group; 16-24 (IRR 6.7, 95% CI:6.4-6.9) compared to those over 25 years and the most deprived (IRR 4.2, 95% CI:3.9-4.4) were more likely to have a recording of drug use. Males (IRR 1.2 95% CI:1.2-1.3), in the age-group; 25-34 (IRR 1.8 95% CI:1.7-1.9) and the most deprived (IRR 3.9 95% CI:3.6-4.3) were the groups more likely to have a opioid substitute treatment prescription.

Conclusion: It is evident from this study that there is little recording of drug use and opioid substitute treatment in primary care. Most drug users do not receive treatment in primary care.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Venn diagram depicting individuals with one, two or three of the Read and/ or Drug codes.
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pone.0122626.g001: Venn diagram depicting individuals with one, two or three of the Read and/ or Drug codes.

Mentions: We identified 33,508 individuals with a record of drug use, 10,869 individuals with prescriptions for opioid substitute treatment and 7,655 individuals with Read codes for opioid substitute treatment. GPs used half (51%, n = 267) of the available Read codes for drug use in THIN. A third (35% n = 7) of the 20 most frequently used codes were specific for the illicit drug. Only 18% (n = 27) of the available prescription codes and 72% (n = 31) of the possible Read codes for opioid substitution treatment were used. Patients had different combinations of Read codes and drug codes in their GP computer records (Fig 1), but relatively few individuals had entries of all three. Hence, there were 28,179 (63.7%) individuals recorded as using drugs, but not receiving any opioid substitute treatment in primary care.


Trends of people using drugs and opioid substitute treatment recorded in England and wales general practice (1994-2012).

Davies HR, Nazareth I, Petersen I - PLoS ONE (2015)

Venn diagram depicting individuals with one, two or three of the Read and/ or Drug codes.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4414600&req=5

pone.0122626.g001: Venn diagram depicting individuals with one, two or three of the Read and/ or Drug codes.
Mentions: We identified 33,508 individuals with a record of drug use, 10,869 individuals with prescriptions for opioid substitute treatment and 7,655 individuals with Read codes for opioid substitute treatment. GPs used half (51%, n = 267) of the available Read codes for drug use in THIN. A third (35% n = 7) of the 20 most frequently used codes were specific for the illicit drug. Only 18% (n = 27) of the available prescription codes and 72% (n = 31) of the possible Read codes for opioid substitution treatment were used. Patients had different combinations of Read codes and drug codes in their GP computer records (Fig 1), but relatively few individuals had entries of all three. Hence, there were 28,179 (63.7%) individuals recorded as using drugs, but not receiving any opioid substitute treatment in primary care.

Bottom Line: Reduction of overall illegal drug use in England and Wales has decreased from 11% to 8.2% (2012/13) over the past 10 years.Overall, males (IRR 2.02, 95% CI:1.97-2.07), people in the age-group; 16-24 (IRR 6.7, 95% CI:6.4-6.9) compared to those over 25 years and the most deprived (IRR 4.2, 95% CI:3.9-4.4) were more likely to have a recording of drug use.Most drug users do not receive treatment in primary care.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University College London Department of Primary Care and Population Health, Rowland Hill Street, London, NW3 2PF, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

Background: Illicit drug use is a multifaceted public-health problem with potentially serious impacts. The United Kingdom has one of the highest prevalence of illegal drug use in Europe. Reduction of overall illegal drug use in England and Wales has decreased from 11% to 8.2% (2012/13) over the past 10 years. People who use drugs often seek help from their family doctors.

Aims: To investigate General Practitioners (family doctors) first recording of drug use and opioid substitute treatment in primary care settings.

Design: A descriptive study design. Males and females (16-64 years old) were extracted from The Health Improvement Network (THIN) database.

Setting: England and Wales primary care.

Method: The first recording of drug use and opioid substitution treatment in primary care was estimated for the period (1994-2012). Poisson regressions were conducted to estimate incidence risk ratios (IRR).

Results: We identified 33,508 first recordings of drug use and 10,869 individuals with prescriptions for opioid substitute treatment. Overall, males (IRR 2.02, 95% CI:1.97-2.07), people in the age-group; 16-24 (IRR 6.7, 95% CI:6.4-6.9) compared to those over 25 years and the most deprived (IRR 4.2, 95% CI:3.9-4.4) were more likely to have a recording of drug use. Males (IRR 1.2 95% CI:1.2-1.3), in the age-group; 25-34 (IRR 1.8 95% CI:1.7-1.9) and the most deprived (IRR 3.9 95% CI:3.6-4.3) were the groups more likely to have a opioid substitute treatment prescription.

Conclusion: It is evident from this study that there is little recording of drug use and opioid substitute treatment in primary care. Most drug users do not receive treatment in primary care.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus