Determining Cause of Death among Drug Addicts in Residential Rehab Campuses in Tehran Province, Iran: An 8-Year Study in Kahrizak Dissection Hall
International Journal of Medical Toxicology and Forensic Medicine,
Vol. 11 No. 4 (2021),
17 November 2021
Background & aim: Determining cause of death among drug addicts in residential rehab campuses (RRCs) is of paramount importance, since it may prevent and reduce morbidity and mortality rates. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate cause of death among drug addicts in RRCs in Kahrizak Dissection Hall, Tehran Province, Iran, from September 2011 to September 2019.
Methods: In this descriptive cross-sectional study, a total number of 166 drug addicts, who had died in the RRCs located in Tehran Province, Iran, were examined, and the findings were analyzed using the SPSS Statistics software (version 26). Moreover, the Chi-square test was utilized to compare the results.
Results: In this study, the most important causes of death, were infections, drug side effects, myocardial infarction (MI) and drowning, respectively. The highest frequency of death had occurred in the 31-40-year-old age group and mostly observed in the unmarried individuals. The most common cause of death were infection among the single and divorced ones and that was MI for married cases. Toxicological results were generally negative in 60.84% of the cases. As well, 86.74% of the cases were non-pathological with regard to the brain tissue samples and 65.66% of the individuals had no pathological cardiac lesions. Besides, the most common microscopic findings of the lungs were associated with pulmonary edema. In the trauma group and also drug side effects and drowning groups, the most frequent pathological findings were pulmonary hemorrhage and pulmonary edema, respectively. As a whole, 69.87% of the deaths had occurred in the RRCs and 55.42% of them were assumed natural in terms of mode of occurrence.
Conclusion: The majority of the deaths in the RRCs must not have occurred, if the given centers were authorized and the illegal ones had been closed down. Moreover, these centers needed to have proper management with the presence of resident physicians and trained medical staff as well as necessary medical equipment, proper nutrition, no access to drugs and other illicit substances, along with adherence to hygienic principles to minimize mortality rates among the drug addicts living in the RRCs.