Year: 2020 Source: Folia Medica (Plovdiv). (2020). 62(1), 117-123. doi: 10.3897/folmed.62.e47789. SIEC No: 20200333

Introduction: Several epidemiological studies have evaluated the role of illicit drug use in suicide behaviour.

Aim: To assess patients with opioid use disorder and suicidal intent related to behavior, severity of acute poisoning and the most commonly used non-opioid substances.

Materials and methods: This cross sectional study included 67 patients diagnosed with opioid use disorder. The study was conducted at the University Clinic of Toxicology in Skopje over a 5-year period (2013-2017). The following variables were examined: gender, age, duration and route of opioid administration, duration of hospitalization, and types of substances used in acute poisoning. Assessment of patients’ behavior and severity of poisoning was made by using the Suicide Behaviours Questionnaire-Revised and the Poison severity score.

Results: The majority of patients were male (88.1%). The mean age of patients was 30±6.1 years. The average duration of opioid use disorder was 8.5±3.9. A single poisoning was found in 62.7%, double poisoning in 25.4%, and triple poisoning in 11.9% of participants. Benzodiazepines were most commonly used by the patients (55.2%). The largest number of patients (32.8%) had minor Poison severity score (PSS), and only 17.9% had severe PSS. None of the patients had a fatal suicide attempt. 86.6% of patients had a score of ≥7 indicating a high risk of repeat suicide attempts.

Conclusion: Benzodiazepines were most commonly used as a single or combined substance in patients with opioid use disorder. PSS indicated that most of the participants were with minor PSS and with high risk of a repeat suicide attempt.