For the first time, researchers have found that problem drug users with less successful educational and employment careers are more likely to die of an overdose. Moreover, there is no link between parents' professional status and the likelihood that their problem drug-using child will die from an overdose.
“Overdose victims are roughly twice as likely to have failed to finish secondary school successfully and one-and-a-half times more likely to be unemployed than problem drug users who are still alive,” said Alain Origer, Luxembourg’s National Drug Coordinator and lead researcher on this topic. He worked with Prof. Michèle Baumann, health sociologist, from the University of Luxembourg, Research Unit INSIDE, Institute health & Behaviour.
“However, there was no difference in the type of work done by the parents of problem drug-users and overdose victims,” he added. “One may speculate that socioeconomic disadvantages act on individual lives rather than being determined by up-bringing.”
These ground-breaking results from a University of Luxembourg research team followed cross-analysis of uniquely rich data on the lives of over 1,300 problem drug-users resident in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg between 1994 and 2011. This included multi-layered life histories of 272 fatal overdose cases and 1,056 problem drug-users with comparable profiles. Problem drug-use in this study relates to the taking of opioids, most commonly heroin, and cocaine.
This is the first study to be based on such a large and rich set of long-term data about problem drug-users' life stories. The researchers had access to anonymised national data from drug misuse agencies, the national drug monitoring system, toxicological and autopsy reports. Thus the University of Luxembourg team were able to take a more multidimensional approach than previous studies in the academic literature. Other studies attempting to use similar methodology proved to be inconclusive due to a lack of data.
“Educational programmes, professional training and occupational reintegration may contribute to reducing drug-related mortality,” said Mr Origer. “Incorporating these measures into harm reduction programmes and developing risk-assessment tools could save lives,” he added.
About the University of Luxembourg
The University of Luxembourg, founded in 2003, is a multilingual, international research university with 6200 students and staff from all over the globe. Its research focuses on international finance, ICT security, systems biomedicine, European law, business law and educational sciences.
Notes to editors
The scientific article “Social and economic inequalities in fatal opioid and cocaine related overdoses in Luxembourg: A case-control study” has been published in the “International Journal of Drug Policy”. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2014.05.015
Sophie Kolb | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
27.04.2017 | Life Sciences
27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences