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Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2017 Feb;31(1):126-131. doi: 10.1111/fcp.12233. Epub 2016 Oct 5.

Which psychoactive substances are used by patients seen in the healthcare system in French overseas territories? Results of the OPPIDUM survey.

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CHU Bordeaux, Service de Pharmacologie médicale, Centre d'Addictovigilance, INSERM U1219, F-33000, Bordeaux, France.
CNRS, INT, Institut de Neurosciences Timone, APHM, Service de Pharmacologie Clinique, Centre d'Addictovigilance Paca Corse, Aix Marseille Université, F-13005, Marseille, France.
Département de Pharmacologie médicale et Toxicologie, Centre d'Addictovigilance, CHRU Montpellier, F-34295, Montpellier, France.


Addiction to illicit substances or medicines is influenced by cultural, religious, ethnic factors as well as local availability. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the profile of drug users and characteristics of the psychoactive substances used in French overseas territories, using data from the OPPIDUM survey. OPPIDUM is an annual, nationwide, multicentric, cross-sectional study based on specialized care centres that included subjects presenting a drug addiction or under opiate maintenance treatment. The current study includes data from the 2012 and 2013 surveys and focuses on patients included by drug addiction centres located in French overseas departments and territories: French Pacific Ocean (French Polynesia, New Caledonia), French Americas (Guadeloupe, Saint Martin, French Guiana) and Reunion Island. Data from metropolitan France (2013 survey) were included as reference. Two hundred and forty-five patients were included. The sex ratio was 3.7 for the Pacific Ocean, 3.5 for the French Americas and 3.3 for Reunion Island. Cannabis was consumed in all the territories, from 50.8% in Reunion Island to 81.7% in Pacific Ocean. Cocaine was most frequently consumed in the French Americas (61%), mainly in the 'freebase' form (91%), whereas 6.5% of cocaine users in metropolitan France did so. Problematic use of medicines was most frequent in Reunion Island. Heroin seems rarely used in all overseas territories. This study highlights the complexity of substances used in French overseas territories, which often differ from that in mainland France. The relative difference between different areas provides valuable information for future investigations and possible interventions.


Caribbean region; Indian Ocean Islands; Pacific Islands; cross-sectional studies; population surveillance/methods; substance-related disorders

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