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Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 2017;54(2):41-46.

Primary Addictive Substances Used among Patients Treated in a Hospital-Based Addiction Medicine Service.

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Ariel University, Ariel, Israel Lev-Hasharon Medical Center, Pardesiya, Israel.
Lev-Hasharon Medical Center, Pardesiya, Israel Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.



This study sought to explore the differences in primary addictive substances used among individuals referred to an ambulatory hospital-based addiction service in Israel according to sex, age and source of referral.


Data were drawn from all referral forms received during a two-year period (N=140). Categories of primary addictive substances included alcohol, drugs (cannabis, synthetic cannabinoids, illicit stimulants and heroin) and medications (prescription opioids, prescription stimulants and benzodiazepines). Sources of referral included physicians, non-medical health professionals and self-referral.


Among individuals referred to treatment, the most frequent categories of addictive substances were drugs (39%), followed by medications (38%) and alcohol (23%). Among those referred by a physician, the most common category of addictive substances was medications (45%), whereas among those referred by non-medical health professionals the most common category was drugs (61%). Significant (p<0.05) sex differences were found in primary addictive substances: men most commonly reported using drugs while women most commonly reported using medications. Individuals seeking treatment for drug use disorders were significantly younger (mean age = 34.3±12.4) than those seeking treatment for alcohol or prescription-medication use disorders (41.2±13.4 and 43.6±13.5, respectively).


Age, sex and source of referral should be taken into consideration when screening for primary addictive substances.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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