Almost Half of Hospitalized Heroin Users Self-Report Good Health

hospital sign purchasedshutterstock_33280960“Nearly half of heroin users who are hospitalized for medical or surgical treatment perceive themselves to be in good, very good, or excellent health, “underlining a disconnect between addiction and perceived health status,” according to a study of 112 patients.

The apparent disparity between self-reported health and disease burden suggests that “perceptions of health status may not actually reflect physical health but a different construct altogether,” Lidia Z. Meshesa and her colleagues wrote.

The investigators enrolled 112 non–treatment-seeking hospitalized heroin users in the study. The average age of the participants was 40 years, and 72% were male, reported Ms. Meshesa, of the Clinical Research and Education (CARE) Unit at Boston Medical Center, and her coauthors (Addict. Behav. 2013;38:2884-7). None was currently in treatment for substance abuse. All the participants completed a standard questionnaire on health-related quality of life and were asked detailed questions about their drug use and mental and physical health histories.”

Source: – October 21, 2013