Hospital and prehospital emergency service utilisation as an impact of acute recreational drug and ethanol toxicity

J. R. H. Archer, P. I. Dargan, D. M. Wood, A. R. Winstock*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Recreational drug use can cause significant acute toxicity and is typically associated with the utilisation of hospital/prehospital emergency medical services and health-care costs.

Aims: To determine the impact of recreational drug toxicity on the utilisation of emergency medical services and subsequent drug use.

Design and Methods: A total of 2472 UK participants completed an anonymous online cross-sectional questionnaire. The use of emergency medical services for acute recreational drug and/or ethanol toxicity and its impact on drug use were surveyed.

Results: Four hundred and sixty-one (19%) had previously utilised emergency medical services following drugs/ethanol; of these, 57% (259) attended a hospital emergency department, out of which 59% (152) needed hospital admission. Forty-three percent (49 of 113 respondents) believed their most recent episode that required medical assistance was due to using "too much drug". Forty-five percent (50 of 112 respondents) stated they would continue to use or increase their drug use. Ten percent (11) reported that the episode had resulted in them stopping use.

Conclusions: A significant proportion of individuals used hospital/prehospital emergency services for acute toxicity after recreational drugs and/or ethanol use. This caused little impact on behaviour in relation to subsequent use. More work is needed to understand how to use these episodes to change patterns of drug and/or ethanol use.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Substance Use
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Recreational drugs
  • toxicity
  • emergency department
  • prevalence
  • OUTDOOR FESTIVAL EVENT
  • 5-YEAR TRENDS
  • UK
  • MEPHEDRONE
  • PATTERNS
  • IDENTIFICATION
  • PRESENTATIONS
  • PREVALENCE
  • MANAGEMENT
  • MEDICINE

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