Opiate addiction in Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Patterns of drug use and users characteristics
Trend of opiate addiction remain stable but it is commonly associate with more harmful forms of drug use and present main reason for entering specialised drug treatment. Aim of this paper is to explore behavioural patterns and socioeconomic characteristics of opiate drug users in Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The database of treated addicts was established at Public Health Institute Republic of Srpska in 2010. All health care institutions and associations that provide care and treatment for addicts are obliged to report drug users ('Official Gazette of BiH' No. 73/09). The analysis includes addicts who entered the treatment by the end of 31st December 2020 in all facilities included in reporting system.
Persons who entered specialized treatment were dominantly male (90.7%) opiate addicts (n=451, 87.4%), with heroine as primary drug (97.6%). Only 12.6% of treated addicts are non opiate drug users with marihuana (n=27) and amphetamine (n=12) as mostly present primary drug. Main route of administration for 51.7% of opiate addicts was injecting and 38.1% of opiate addicts were daily drug users. More than a half of opiate addicts (70.7%) live with their primary family and they are unemployed (63%) while 36.6% estimate family material status below average. Use of opioids was reported as main reason for entering socialised drug treatment which remains stable over the years, similar to the other European countries. Quality treatment together with preventive programs on the community level are necessary approach in order to reduce harmful effects of opiate addiction.