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A Survey of Patients with Substance Use Disorders at Government Treatment Facilities in The Bahamas

Objective: To determine the sociodemographic information and characteristics of patients aged 18–60 years diagnosed with substance use disorders presenting to the three government treatment facilities.  To determine the prevalence rates of alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and poly-substance use disorders in patients presenting to government treatment facilities.
Methods: The Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fourth edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR) Axis 1 disorders was the first instrument used to screen for drug abuse or dependence.  Additional questionnaires included a sociodemographic questionnaire and the Survey of Addicted Patients in Treatment Centres Standardized Questionnaire. 
Results: The number of participants interviewed in the study was 120 people; 89.2% were males and 10.8% were females.  The mean age of all participants with substance use disorders was 36.22 (10.74) years and they were predominantly male (8 to 1).  Males were mostly single, unemployed or casually employed, of middle school education and were residents of New Providence. Alcohol, cannabis and cocaine were the common drugs that were misused.  Of cocaine users, 52 (82.5%) met the DSM-IV-TR criteria for dependence and of cannabis users, 20 (18.9%) met the DSM-IV-TR criteria for abuse.
Conclusions: There is a need to conduct community surveys on school children, other adult populations eg in the wider community and on other island populations to determine the population rates of substance use disorders.  Once the needs have been identified through research for the different islands and target groups, informed decisions can be made as to the allocation of financial and human resources.
24 Sep, 2012
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e-Published: 22 Jan, 2014
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