Areej Zehra, Shua Nasir, Lal Shehbaz, Adeeba Salahuddin Khan, Sana Ilyas

Prevalence and Screening of Tobacco and Substance Abuse among patients visiting Emergency Department

Areej Zehra, Shua Nasir, Lal Shehbaz, Adeeba Salahuddin Khan, Sana Ilyas


Aim: To prevalence and screening of tobacco and substance abuse among patients visiting emergency.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional study conducted in the emergency department of Usman Memorial Hospital, Karachi during the period of Jan, 2020 to June, 2021. In the 18 months of study, we included patients visiting to our emergency department due to any acute complaint who is older than 18 years of age. All the participants were to be asked National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) quick screen and tobacco addiction screening was done by CAGE questionnaire. Data was collected and analyzed using SPSS version 2.

Results: During the 18 months’ time, we received 642 patients matching our inclusion criteria for this study. Out of these 371(59.4%) participants agreed to participate in the study whereas the 40.6% refused to enter the study. Out of these there were 242(65.2%) males and 129(34.7%) females in the study sample. All these participants were asked the single screen question for drug use and 178(47.9%) of the participants have used an illegal drug or prescription drugs for non-medical reason. Among the total 194 participants who smoke currently there were 146(75.2%) participants with positive CAGE modified results suggests nicotine dependence.

Conclusion: The above study suggests that substance abuse/misuse of prescription drugs and nicotine dependence is common in our population and awareness regarding smoking cessation and drugs use is needed. Screening of individuals at emergency department is an efficient method for identifying severe cases and provide them proper medical help. 

Keywords: Tobacco, Nicotine, Smoking.

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