On-line version ISSN 1657-9534
BRAVO, Pablo A et al. Prevalence of psychoactive substances associated with violent deaths. Colomb. Med. [online]. 2005, vol.36, n.3, pp. 146-152. ISSN 1657-9534.
INTRODUCTION: Consumption of psychoactive substances is considered a worldwide problem which has repercussions on the social, economic, political and health sectors. According to different researches, alcohol and other psychoactive substances are risk factors for violent deaths in motor vehicle accidents, suicides, and homicides. OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of psychoactive substances in the biological samples obtained during the necropsy processes, which were analyzed in the Toxicology Laboratory of the Instituto Nacional de Medicina Legal y Ciencias Forenses of Colombia South West Regional, in Cali, Colombia . METHODS: A systematic random sample of 404 cases was drawn from the total of 17.434 necropsies of confirmed violent deaths that occurred in Cali during the period from January 1998 to June 2002. RESULTS:50% of deaths were found in people younger than 30 years and 84.8% were men. The most frequent manner of death was homicide 53.7%, followed by natural death 17.8%, motor vehicle accident 15.5%, accidental 6.7% and suicide 6.2%. The prevalence of psychoactive substances (alcohol + abuse drugs) was 31.9%, alcoholemia 23.7% and abuse drugs and toxic substances 29.2%. Cocaine and marihuana were the most prevalent abuse drugs 21.2% and 14.1% respectively; 47.4% of suicides were positive for psychoactive substances and a wide variety of drugs were found. In homicide, 35.2% were positive. CONCLUSIONS: One third out of all violent deaths occurred in Cali, was associated with the consumption of psychoactive substances. Without any doubt, it is a public health problem that must arouse interest in all sectors and deserves to proceed over this problem as a warning and advice for preventive solutions
Keywords : Psychoactive substances; Alcoholemia; Toxicology; Violent deaths; Request; Instituto Medicina Legal.