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Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1985 Jan 5;290(6461):34-5.

Drug users in contact with general practice.


A group of heroin users who are in contact with a general practice in north west Edinburgh are described. The study group was younger and included more women than previous studies. These people used a large variety of drugs and mainly purchased them locally. Frequent and often prolonged abstinent periods occurred with no prescribed opiate treatment. The group had experienced a high rate of drug related medical disorders. All these points raise the possibility that opiate users who are known to general practitioners may be a distinctly different population from those who attend drug dependency clinics. The frequency of remission and the prevalence of polydrug use have profound implications for planning and evaluating an effective medical response.

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