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A tendency to drug addiction and associated risk factors: A case-control study

Introduction: Drug addiction is a chronic medical illness characterized by a person's inability to control the impulse to use drugs even when there are negative consequences on the health and everyday life of the addicted person, their family, and society in general. A growing body of evidence shows substance abuse phenomenon and tendency to drug addiction interacts with each other, leading to the onset and continued use of illegal drugs. This study aimed to assess the association between sociodemographic factors and the tendency to drug addiction.

Methods: A matched case-control study was conducted in 240 adults (120 cases and 120 controls) aged 15-72. The cases were sampled using a simple random sampling method based on the list of registered drug addicts' files in the DUTCs clinics. The eligible criteria for case subjects (person who was addicted to drugs) were defined as a patient requiring interventional actions due to substance abuse, consuming at least one narcotic drug, and any psychoactive substance without prescribing by a physician. Cases were identified through the DUTCs registry system, while controls were selected with a one-to-one ratio for the case group. A 17-item questionnaire was generated by reviewing the literature to collect the data. The four areas for this questionnaire included (a)socio-demographic information, (b) preaddiction behavior, (c) post-addiction behavior, and (d) future vision of addict person. After applying the univariate logistic regression model, variables with a significant level of ≥ 0.1 were selected for the multivariable logistic regression. Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were reported and significant level was set at α=0.05.

Results: In the adjusted regression model, tobacco smoking history (aOR=17.16:7.34-40.13), being single (aOR=8.24:1.29-52.77), a residency of an urban area (aOR=7.76(2.38-25.28)), history of running away from home (aOR=7.85:1.10-55.84), being unemployed (aOR=3.73:1.02-13.67) and having less than a high school education (aOR=2.43:1.04-5.68) were significantly associated increased likelihood of tendency to drug addiction among participants. Factors such as low monthly income and the number of children (≥1) were also significantly associated with tendency to drug addiction (P-value< 0.05).

Conclusion: This study suggests that tobacco smoking history, running away from home, living in an urban area, education, income class, number of children, and marital status were associated with a higher chance of tendency to drug addiction. Therefore, public health policymakers must take immediate actions to tackle individual and social factors in order to prevent people, particularly young people from tendency to drug addiction. Additionally, evidence-based individuals and family-centered preventive interventions (e.g., educational campaigns) appeared to be the urgent priorities in curbing the tendency to drug addiction in Iran.


Reza Chaman, Mohammad Ebrahimi Kalan, Maryam Dastoorpoor, Pariya Jahanbin, Raana Kousari, Russell P. Miller, Ali Musavizadeh

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