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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 94-98

Pentazocine addiction among sickle cell disease patients and perception of its use among health-care workers

1 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Behavioural Medicine, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
4 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ebele Uche
Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/joah.joah_39_19

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BACKGROUND: Prolonged use of pentazocine in sickle cell disease (SCD) because of chronic pain may result in mental dependence (addiction) and/or physical dependence leading to withdrawal symptoms on suddenly stopping its use. This study was aimed at determining the prevalence of pentazocine addiction among SCD patients and health-care worker (HCW) perception on its use. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was an interviewer-administered, questionnaire-based, cross-sectional study. The study involved clients attending the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital sickle cell clinic and the hospital HCWs. Consenting participants filled a World Health Organization structured questionnaire developed and extracted from ASSIST which is A - Alcohol, S - Smoking and S - Substance, I - Involvement, S - Screening, and T - Test. The HCWs were evaluated using a pretested, validated questionnaire. RESULTS: A total of 350 participants were recruited consisting of 169 (48.3%) males and 181 (51.7%) females. ASSIST report showed 88% of them had low score of 0–3, 10% had moderate score of 4–26, while 2% (7 of 350) had high score of >27. A total of 61 HCWs were interviewed, and 18% and 8.2% of them believed 40%–60% and more than 60%, respectively, of the SCD patients were addictive to pentazocine. CONCLUSION: While the issue of drug addiction should not be ignored, the appropriate treatment of SCD patients in Nigeria who are prevented from getting high-quality care should be appropriately addressed. The risk of addiction is overestimated among HCW.

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