Socio-demographic variation and Psychiatric Co-morbidity in Substance dependent patients seeking medical help in Sirt-Libya

Original article


Majid Hamid J. Al-Mutter, Nagib Fallah and Sabir Habieb M. Al Amien

College of Medicine Al-Tahady University, Sirt-Libya

JMJ Vol. 5, No 2 (Summer) 2006: 108-112


The use of alcohol as well as illegal and prescribed psychoactive drugs has become increasingly widespread. This study was designed to determine an outline to socio-demographic variations and presence of other psychiatric disorders in patients with substance dependence seeking medical help in Sirt – Libya. The study sample consisted of 58 Libyan patients, 53 males and 5 females; all were consulting the psychiatric O.P.D. – central polyclinic -Sirt from 1-1-2000 to 31-12-2001 seeking treatment from “addiction”. General socio-demographic data were taken as well as information about types of substances, periods of dependence, amounts, withdrawal symptoms, medical complications, associated psychiatric disorders and weather the patient has insight. Most of our patients were from urban areas, males were mainly singles while most of females were married. Low level of education was a feature of our patients. Females were dependent on prescribed medications only while males were using also illegal substances, the most common of which apart from alcohol was cannabis. Most of our subjects were drug dependent for more than 5 years (72 % of males and 60 % of females) and most of them were having physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms (73.5 % of males and all females). Antisocial personality disorder was found in 52.8 % of males while 40 % of females were depressed. Most of the patients were having intact insight and wish to stop taking their substances. Our results were compared with other studies in different other countries.

Keywords: Alcohol, Psychoactive substance, Dependence, Addiction, Socio-demographic, Psychiatric co-morbidity