APH 1998, 56, 307-316:

A 20-year longitudinal prospective study of 284 heroin addicts in Stockholm County, Sweden

S. Mützell

Keywords: longitudinal prospective study, heroin addicts, social adjustment problems 

A large number of individuals suffering from heroin intoxication were found unconscious in Stockholm City and taken to the hospital for resuscitation. Apart from the emergency resuscitative measures, great effort was needed on the part of the staff to induce the patients to remain in hospital for treatment after recovering consciousness and most of the the time they had to have a direct line to the police to obtain help in detaining the patients. This longitudinal prospective investigation has covered a 20-year period from the initial examination in 1977-79. During the three years 1977-1979, 22 men and 9 women had died after arrival unconscious, from heroin intoxication, at the Department of lntemal Medicine at Serafirner Hospital and the remaining 200 male and 84 female probands were then followed. As expected, we found that the heroin addicts had developed social adjustment problems, including criminality and abuse of alcohol and drugs, and they had a frighteningly high mortality of about 67-73% during these 20 years.