Epidemiology of illicit drug use disorders in Iran: prevalence, correlates, comorbidity and service utilization results from the Iranian Mental Health Survey

Masoumeh Amin-Esmaeili, Afarin Rahimi-Movaghar, Vandad Sharifi, Ahmad Hajebi, Reza Radgoodarzi, Ramin Mojtabai, Mitra Hefazi, Abbas Motevalian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Drug abuse is a significant social and public health problem in Iran. The present study aimed to provide prevalence estimates and information on correlates of illicit drug use disorder and opioid dependence, as well as service use for these disorders in Iran.

DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: This report is based on the Iranian household Mental Health Survey (IranMHS) conducted in 2011. A three-stage probability sampling was employed. Face-to-face interviews by trained psychologists were carried out with a nationally representative sample of 7841 individuals (3366 men and 4475 women) aged 15-64 years.

MEASUREMENTS: The Composite International Diagnostic Interview and questionnaires for socio-demographic correlates and service use.

FINDINGS: The prevalence of 12-month use disorders for any illicit drug according to DSM-IV and DSM-5 criteria were 2.09% [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.70-2.47%] and 2.44% (95% CI = 2.03-2.85%), respectively. Opioid use disorders, and opium in particular, were the most common use disorder. The odds of drug use disorders were greater in men than in women, in previously married participants than in currently or never married participants, and in participants with lower socio-economic status than in those with higher socio-economic status (all P-values <0.05). Approximately half of those with drug use disorders and 40% with opioid dependence had a 12-month unmet need for treatment. Self-help groups were the most common type of service used, followed by obtaining medication from pharmacies directly and outpatient treatment services.

CONCLUSIONS: Opioid use disorders are the most common type of drug use disorders in Iran, setting Iran apart from many other countries. Patterns of service use suggest a large unmet need for drug use disorder treatment in Iran.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1836-1847
Number of pages12
JournalAddiction (Abingdon, England)
Volume111
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Keywords

  • Drug abuse
  • Iran
  • drug dependence
  • epidemiology
  • opioid use disorder
  • service utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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