Psychiatric and Socio Demographical Profile of Substance Abuse Offenders, In Al-Rashad Training Hospital, Forensic Department, Iraq

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Basheer F Humadi
Ghada K Adeeb
Ali H Alamery

Abstract

Background: Substance use disorder and mental illness are a major burden within the criminal justice system and within the general health services. It is difficult to study this relationship outside of prisoners’ populations, as both mental disorders and severe drug dependence are risk factors for violent actions and crimes.
Aim: To detect the substance abuse offenders and assess the psychiatric illnesses among them and to study the socio-demographical characteristic of the selected sample.
Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in AL Rashad Hospital, Forensic Department in Baghdad. It is a descriptive retrospective study. Case files of (40) offenders with different charges concerning substance crimes, examined by the forensic committee in 2017 were studied. Comprehensive data were collected and analyzed by the SPSS 23.
Results: The study showed that offenders with SUD mainly of the young age groups (20-29) and (30-39) were married with unstable financial resources, illiterate, and related to urban regions. The personality disorder had significant comorbidity with SUD, the use of the CNS stimulant group and multiple substance abuse was the bulk of the problem. The past psychiatric history was positive 75% of the sample, while the forensic psychiatric history was positive in 25% only. Najaf, Baghdad, and Basra were the most affected governorates.
Conclusions: The result of this study doesn’t represent the SUD problem in Iraq; the problem may be bigger than this, and substance abuse-related crimes are increasing rapidly. The study only describes some of the psychiatric and socio-demographical characteristics of substance abuse offenders who were sent by the court for diagnosing and assessing the culpability by the Forensic committee.

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Research Article