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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 146-155

Mental health among opiate users in Kabul: a pilot study from the Médecins du Monde Harm Reduction Programme

1 psychiatrist specialising in addiction medicine. He is currently working at the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel, Division of Substance Use Disorders, Basel, Switzerland
2 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of the University of Zürich, Switzerland. He has been mental health advisor for MDM in Kabul since February 2009 and medical coordinator from 2010 to 2011
3 MDM programme in Kabul since 2006 and member of the board of MDM France
4 general coordinator for MDM in Kabul from 2009 to 2011
5 specialist in Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine who has supported the MDM programme in Kabul as medical coordinator from June to December 2009
6 psychologist with the Department of Substance Use Disorders of the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel, Switzerland., Switzerland

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The number of injecting opiate users in Afghanistan has recently risen dramatically. Through this cross-sectional pilot study, the authors have aimed to assess psychiatric comorbidity and drug use patterns among Afghan opiate users, which might have implications for harm reduction and treatment interventions. The authors conducted semi-structured psychiatric interviews, with a convenience sample of 30 clients of the Médecins du Monde drop-in centre in Kabul. Symptoms were classified according to the WHO International Classification of Diseases, Revision 10. Results show that psychiatric comorbidity is very common, particularly depressive and posttraumatic stress disorders. Ideally, this could be addressed by harm reduction and treatment measures.

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