Research Article

Casualty departments and the monitoring of drug dependence.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 28 May 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:1381
  1. A H Ghodse


    In a month-long prospective survey of patients attending London casualty departments with drug-related problems, 395 drug-dependent patients were identified. A check against the official Home Office index of notified addicts showed that 226 (57%) were not known to the Home Office. Of 92 patients who used narcotics only 53% were known with certainty to the Home Office, and when the source of notification was checked it became clear that in at least 77% of incidents involving narcotic addicts in casualty departments the addict was not reported. Repeated research in casualty departments could play a valuable role in monitoring drug dependence and might provide information supplementary to that obtained from the specialised drug treatment clinics and other sources of notification.