Assessment of Pattern of Drug Abuse from Different Clinical Settings in a Reference Laboratory of Pakistan During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Alveena Younas Pakistan Air Force, Base Nur Khan, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Aamir Armed Forces Institute of Pathology/National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Pakistan
  • Sobia Irum Kirmani Armed Forces Institute of Pathology/National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Pakistan
  • Zujaja Hina Haroon Armed Forces Institute of Pathology/National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Pakistan
  • Afshan Bibi Armed Forces Institute of Pathology/National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Pakistan
  • Muhammad Usman Munir Armed Forces Institute of Pathology/National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) Pakistan
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistan, Substance abuse pattern

Abstract

Objective: To determine the pattern of drug abuse from different clinical settings in a reference laboratory of Pakistan during the COVID-19 pandemic and assess any change from the previous trend.

Study Design: Comparative cross-sectional study.

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Chemical Pathology and Endocrinology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), Rawalpindi Pakistan from Mar to Dec 2020.Methodology: Out of 6902 subjects tested for drug abuse, 672 subjects with positive results were included in the study. The study population was divided into three main Groups. i.e., Psychiatry, ITC/Emergency and Workplace testing. A pattern of drug abuse was compared in the pre (Mar-Dec 2019) and post-COVID (Mar-Dec 2020) periods.

Results: Out of 672 study subjects, 338(50%) were psychiatry patients. Around 629(94%) subjects were males. Mainly young individuals (306, 46%) were affected. Cannabis was the most frequent drug of abuse detected (357, 53%), followed by Benzodiazepines (BZD) (236, 35%) individuals and Opiates (47, 7%). Compared with pre-COVID data, an overall increase of 3% in the total frequency of drug abuse from 392(7%) to 672(10%) was found in 2020. About 14% decrease, from the frequency of 81(21%) to 47(7%) in Opiates usage, while 8% increase in frequency, from 106(27%) to 236(35%) in Benzodiazepines, was observed. There was significant mean difference (p<0.001) between Psychiatric and ITC patients.

Conclusion: Most frequent drug abuse in our settings is Cannabis, followed by Benzodiazepines and Opiates. An overall increase in drug abuse frequency while a decrease in the frequency of...........
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistan, Substance abuse pattern.

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Published
2022-11-07
How to Cite
Younas, A., Aamir, M., Kirmani, S., Haroon, Z., Bibi, A., & Munir, M. (2022). Assessment of Pattern of Drug Abuse from Different Clinical Settings in a Reference Laboratory of Pakistan During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Journal, 72(5), 1757-61. https://doi.org/10.51253/pafmj.v72i5.7151
Section
Original Articles