Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría
Print version ISSN 0034-7450
CASTANO PEREZ, Guillermo Alonso and CALDERON VALLEJO, Gustavo Adolfo. Associated Comorbidity in a Heroin Consumer Group in the City of Medellin. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2010, vol.39, suppl.1, pp. 93s-111s. ISSN 0034-7450.
Introduction: This article evaluates the physical and mental co morbidity associated to drug consumption in a group of 42 heroin consumers in the city of Medellin, Colombia, who were contacted through treatment centers using the snowball technique. Method: Data regarding the socio-demographic profile, consumption practices, rituals, paraphernalia exchange, sexual behaviors and protection, suicidal ideas or attempts, family and personal background, illnesses and physical and mental morbidity were gathered through semi-structured interviews. Results: The consumers were mainly single, childless, males between 18 and 23, most of them with unfinished college education, with a family history of psychoactive use. All of them had a history of use of multiple psychoactive substances. They shared needles and other drug paraphernalia and frequently have unprotected sex. The associated co morbidity included eating disorders, insomnia, cardiovascular alterations and autonomic changes such as hyperhidrosis and variation in body temperature. They frequently reported history of drug overdose, recurrent suicidal ideas, and infectious diseases.
Keywords : Heroin dependence; Colombia; comorbidity,; infectious diseases.