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“Drogenabusus mit Todesfolge”.
Med. Klin.. 1975;70(4):133-140.
A study of drug abuse leading to death is presented. The cases are reviewed of 23 young adults seen during the period Of 1969-74, who died as a result of drug abuse. In 11 cases, a positive relationship was established between drug abuse and death with the exception of 1 man who took opium in his tea several hr before death, all subjects injected opium i.v. With the exception of 1 man (aged-31 yr) who was a drug dealer and had used hashish, LSD-and mescaline for about 7 yr, all the patients were young (aged 17-26-yr) without jobs, and with poor family relationships. Drug consumption had started with hashish in many cases and some had undergone withdrawal therapy for heroin addiction previously. Autopsy findings. included cerebral : edema, pulmonary edema, hyperemia, blood.congestion in Various .organs, etc. In a further 6 cases, drug abuse was probably the cause of death but complete clarification was not possible. In addition to hashish and LSD, other drugs including sleeping tablets,: Speda And alcohol were also abused. 1 Of the patients - (aged- 18. yr) injected himself i-.v. with Preludin and Polamidon tablets which.he.had dissolved in:wat�r. He also used Turkish opium and died. with .typical signs 2 of morphine. overdosage. The catastrophic.consequences of morphine +'alcohol intake are illustrated by the case of a 47-yr-old man not included in the study who was admitted with a blood alcohol level of' 2.5%, and was treated with an injection of morphine-scopolamine + Valium. He quietened down but was dead 1 hr later.
The remaining 6 patients in the study died by other means (with 1 exception) but drug abuse probably contributed indirectly to' death. Hashish and LSD were the chief drugs used. 3 of the patients were killed by trains or found on railway lines, 1 jumped out of a 3-storey window, and another.hanged himself. The 6th-patient died after injecting Parexan into a vein.
Drug abuse in the USA and Europe is briefly discussed, and the incidence of death due to drug abuse considered
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