DRUGS-FACILITATED STREET AND TRAVEL RELATED CRIMES: A NEW PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE

Taj Muhammad Khan, Muhammad Tariq Mehr, Hashmat Ullah

Abstract


BACKGROUND: Trends in poisoning are changing in our country. Street and Travel related poisoning is emerging as a new public health issue. This is the first study in this region to know the types of drugs used for street & travel related poisoning and to know the mode of poisoning.
MATERIALS & METHODS: This prospective study was conducted in the department of medicine Khyber teaching hospital Peshawar from august 2010 to July 2011. A total of 100 cases were enrolled after exclusion criteria. After clinical examination and all relevant investigations their urine, blood and stomach samples were sent for toxicological analysis by fluorescence polarization immunoassay (FPIA) and liquid chromatography coupled to time-of flight mass spectrometry (LC-TOF MS), to Forensic department of Khyber Medical College, Peshawar.
RESULTS: A total of 100 patients between 15-65 years were included in this study, 84(84%) were males and 16(16%) females. Among the drugs benzodiazepines were 60% , opium derivatives 32%, phenobarbitone 4%, 2%each were Rat killer and mixed benzodiazepines & opium derivatives. The substances used for the delivery of drugs were soft drinks 54%, fruits 38% & food in 8% cases. Among the victims were; passengers 60%, pedestrians 20%, Taxi drivers 8%, marriage function 6% (females) & others 6%.
CONCLUSION: Trends are changing in poisoning in our region. This study showed that the mood of poisoning is usually drinks, fruits and food mixed with benzodiazepines and opium derivatives. This often happens due to illiteracy, lack of awareness, poor law & order situation, un-employment and attitude of the people. The purpose of this study is to highlight this problem for the public awareness and to motivate the government authorities for more strict drugs rules enforcement & mass media campaigns for public awareness, improving law and order situation in the country to reduce street and travel related poisoning.

Keywords


Drug-facilitated crimes; Benzodiazepines; Opium; Poisoning.

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