Background/Aim: Drug addiction a public health problem, which Algeria cannot escape from. According to the Algerian National Office for the Fight Against Drug Abuse and Addiction (ONLCDT), 9,680 drug addicts were treated in the first half of 2019. The lack of information and prevalence data continues to impede determining the extent of drug use in Africa. This study aims to determine the profile of drug abuse consumption in a specialized psychiatric treatment center and identify the impact of drug use on the disruption of liver function in patients admitted to the center in 2019.
Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, we used the data of 80 drug addicts in statistical analyses. Results: Males were more prevalent than females (92% vs 8%), and most patients were living in urban areas (67%). The majority were married (84%) and unemployed (58%). The ages of most addicts (52%) ranged between 21 - 40 years. The mean duration of drug use was 5.15 years (SD=2.3). Cannabis was the most prevalent (n=34, 20%) drug used, followed by ecstasy (MDMA) (n=28, 17%), and others (cocaine 15%, alcohol 15%, amphetamine 10%, benzodiazepine 11%, LSD 10%, nicotine 6%). The mean number of drugs abused per patient was 2.35. The most marked observation from data comparison was the significant correlation between drug abuse duration and liver function tests (aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, bilirubin) (P<0.05). Hepatic serology results show that 16% and 7.5% were hepatitis C and hepatitis B positive, respectively.
Conclusion: Given the differences in sociodemographic and drug addiction, further studies involving a large population are needed to identify the factors associated with drug addiction. Algeria has few rehabilitation centers, all of which are limited in clinical capacities and need to be improved.
Drug addiction, liver functions tests, epidemiology, Drug Treatment Center