Clinical features of patients with designer-drug-related disorder in Japan: A comparison with patients with methamphetamine- and hypnotic/anxiolytic-related disorders

Authors

  • Toshihiko Matsumoto MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Drug Dependence Research, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan
    • Correspondence: Toshihiko Matsumoto, MD, PhD, Department of Drug Dependence Research, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 Ogawa-Higashi, Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8553, Japan. Email: tmatsu@ncnp.go.jp

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  • Hisateru Tachimori PhD,

    1. Department of Mental Health Administration, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan
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  • Yuko Tanibuchi MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Chiba Hospital, Chiba, Japan
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  • Ayumi Takano MA,

    1. Department of Drug Dependence Research, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan
    2. Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
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  • Kiyoshi Wada MD, PhD

    1. Department of Drug Dependence Research, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan
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Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study was to clarify the clinical features of designer-drug-abusing patients through comparisons with methamphetamine-abusing patients and hypnotics/anxiolytics-abusing patients.

Methods

Information on 126 designer-drug-abusing patients, 138 methamphetamine-abusing patients, and 87 hypnotics/anxiolytics-abusing patients was extracted from the 2012 database of ‘The Nationwide Mental Hospital Survey on Drug-related Psychiatric Disorders’ and the clinical variables of designer-drug-abusing patients compared with those of the other two groups.

Results

Multivariate analysis indicated the following significant differences between designer-drug-abusing patients and the other two types of patients: designer-drug-abusing patients were younger, included more men, had higher education and fewer relationships with antisocial groups, and included more patients meeting ICD-10 F1 sub-classification categories of ‘Harmful use’ and ‘Psychotic disorders’ than methamphetamine-abusing patients. Compared with hypnotics/anxiolytics-abusing patients, designer-drug-abusing patients were younger, included more men and more patients meeting criteria for ‘Psychotic disorders’, and more frequently cited ‘peer pressure’, ‘unable to refuse’, and ‘seeking stimulation’ as reasons for using the drug.

Conclusion

The advent of designer drugs has created a new class of drug abuse, and abuse of designer drugs may carry a strong psychosis-inducing risk, exceeding that of methamphetamine.

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