Chronic illicit drug use, health services utilisation and the cost of medical care

31 May 2000

The present study estimated the associations among three groups of drug users (chronic drug users, injecting drug users and non-drug users) and three types of health services utilisation (emergency room use, outpatient care and inpatient care).

Epidemiological data from both drug users and non-drug users recruited through street outreach activities were analyzed. In addition, the aggregate cost of service utilisation was estimated and compared across the three groups. This is the first study to offer comparative information on health services utilisation and cost by out-of-treatment drug users and non-drug users in a community-based setting.

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