A ten-year follow-up study of Southampton opiate addicts

Edwards, J. Guy; Goldie, Ann; Edwards, J G; Goldie, A
November 1987
British Journal of Psychiatry;Nov87, Vol. 151, p679
Academic Journal
journal article
A ten-year follow-up study of 74 opiate (most heroin) addicts referred to the Drug Dependence Clinic in Southampton showed that overall, little use was made of the treatment facilities available. Half of the patients on whom we were able to obtain follow-up data appeared to be no longer abusing drugs. An appreciable number of subjects had committed offences prior to abusing drugs and a large proportion offended during the follow-up period, adding support to the view that most addicts are not driven to crime because they are unable to obtain the help they need. The death rate of 15% is that expected in a long-term follow-up study. The results suggest that the natural history of many heroin addicts is uninfluenced by therapeutic intervention.


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