Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 22 in total

  1. Rahman F, Lall P, Iqbal S, Vicknasingam B
    Harm Reduct J, 2015 Nov 05;12:52.
    PMID: 26542117 DOI: 10.1186/s12954-015-0086-6
    BACKGROUND: Out of 20,887 persons who use drugs that came into contact with the National Anti-Drugs Agency (NADA) officials in the year 2013, 3.2% were women. Because women who use drugs (WWUD) are often a hidden population, this may be an underestimate. International literature shows that women who use drugs face increased risk of HIV, intimate partner violence, and mental health issues. Similar literature in Malaysia is lacking, and thus, the objective of our study was exploratory in nature.

    METHODS: Thirty-eight women who use drugs were interviewed using a semi-structured topic guide in Kelantan, Penang, Johor, Kuala Lumpur, and Selangor. Locations were chosen purposively. Nineteen women were interviewed individually and the remaining 19 were in focus group discussions (FGDs). All interviews were transcribed verbatim, translated to English, and analyzed with NVivo.

    RESULTS: Median age of respondents was 35.5 years old, 89.5% ethnic Malays, majority having married below the age of 20, and were of low socioeconomic backgrounds. Youngest age of initiation into drug use was 9 years old. Most reported is inhalation of amphetamine-type substances. Seven reported ever injecting. Three themes emerged: (a) repeating patterns of fluid family structures and instability; (b) "pain" and "difficulty" as features of home life; and (c) seeking marriage as a source of stabilization and practices of power within those marriages. Respondents often came from very fluid family environments and married to find stability, only to be drawn into a similar cycle. None of the women who had been separated from their children either institutionally, by family members, or by third parties, had accessed legal recourse for the loss of their parental rights.

    CONCLUSION: Unstable familial relationships or environments contributed to earlier initiation of drug use which raised questions about support services for WWUD and children who use drugs. Respondents were drawn into unstable and/or abusive relationships, perpetuating social inequalities that marked their own familial environments during childhood. These findings support the need for additional services to support the unique needs of WWUD, including domestic violence services, financial and life skills, parental rights assistance, and empowerment programs.

    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology*
  2. Nunun W, Kanato M
    J Med Assoc Thai, 2015 Jul;98 Suppl 6:S64-72.
    PMID: 26434252
    Drug use can harm to sex workers. Abstinence intervention, however, may not be appropriate since drug use fosters their career performance. The objective was to develop the culturally appropriate model for sex workers participation on drug demand reduction at the Thailand/Malaysian border
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology*
  3. Spencer C, Navaratnam V
    Drug Alcohol Depend, 1980 Jun;5(6):421-7.
    PMID: 7379698
    The present paper is the third and concluding part of a study of the secondary school population of two of Malaysia's thirteen states, Penang and Selangor. Since completion of the two earlier papers, the research team has investigated the pattern and nature of drug use among the equivalent population in a third state, Kelantan, and has again found essentially the same pattern of results: youthful drug use is most clearly related to precocious self-assertion, and a set of beliefs and attitudes about drugs and drug taking, and is largely unrelated to indicators of social deprivation or personal problems. The significance of this repeated finding in Kelantan is that, in this much more rural and traditional state, adult and established patterns of drug use had historically differed considerably from those found in the two more urban and cosmopolitan states of Penang and Selangor. Our findings indicate that the new pattern of drug use by youth has transcended the older cultural differences between the states, and is in turn explained by a more universally familiar set of characteristics in adolescent development.
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology*
  4. Spencer C, Navaratnam V
    Drug Alcohol Depend, 1980 Jun;5(6):411-9.
    PMID: 7379697
    Those Malaysian secondary schoolchildren who have ever used an illicit drug do not differ significantly in terms of social class background, ethnicity or rural/urban location, from the majority of their contemporaries who have not used drugs. The cross-sectional data show a rapid secular trend towards the sexes being equally involved in drug use. Significant differences between ever and never users are, however, found in their attitudes towards drug taking and their beliefs about the properties of drugs, although both groups share the same rather negative image of the typical drug user. Thus, drug users have accepted some of the attitudes towards drug issues which are normative in the non-user group, whilst developing other attitudes which are consistent with their continuing use. It is argued that adolescent drug abuse in Malaysia is not to be linked specifically with social deprivation, but should be seen as being part of the life style of particular groups in all strata of society.
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology*
  5. Navaratnam V, Foong K
    Curr Med Res Opin, 1990;11(10):620-30.
    PMID: 1968829
    In a recent epidemiological study of 249 opiate addicts in the State of Penang, Malaysia, the use of benzodiazepines, its temporal relationship to opiate addiction and the reasons for use of benzodiazepines were examined. Just over a half of the opiate addicts indicated use of benzodiazepines in their lifetime. Use of 7 different benzodiazepines was reported, among them flunitrazepam most frequently. A substantial proportion had discontinued the use of benzodiazepines after initial experimentation. Just over a quarter had used them in the last 24 hours. Benzodiazepine use starts on average 3 to 6 years later than heroin use. The most common reason cited for benzodiazepine use was to enhance the feeling of 'high' from the opiates. These findings can be explained, at least partly, by economic factors. Reasons that could be qualified as attempts to autotherapy did not exceed 20%. None of the opiate addicts had reported isolated benzodiazepine use for fun and pleasure. From the time course of use as well as from the reasons given by the addicts, it is evident that benzodiazepines are not primary drugs of abuse. Comparing their figures from Malaysia with figures from Germany and England the authors cannot explain the preferred use of flunitrazepam by Malaysian addicts by the existence of special properties of this substance.
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology
  6. Jansen KL, Prast CJ
    J Psychoactive Drugs, 1988 Oct-Dec;20(4):455-7.
    PMID: 3072396
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology
  7. Navaratnam V, Foong K
    Curr Med Res Opin, 1989;11(9):600-9.
    PMID: 2612204
    The temporal sequence of drug use should reveal which drugs are precursors to heroin and which drugs are used subsequent to the establishment of heroin addiction as adjunctive drugs. This temporal sequence was examined in an epidemiological study. Out of 249 opiate addicts interviewed in the area of Penang, Malaysia, this sequence of drugs could be obtained in 248 cases. The mean (median) age for first use of nicotine is 15.5 (15) years, alcohol 18.4 (18) years, cannabis 17.8 (17) years, heroin 21.8 (21) years, opium 22.8 (22) years, and benzodiazepines 25.8 (25) years. The age of first use of different drug types is presented in some detail. The patterns of sequence of drug use was analyzed for the five major and most frequently reported drugs, i.e. alcohol, cannabis, heroin, opium and benzodiazepines. Nicotine, used as first drug in almost all cases, was omitted in this analysis. A clear trend to multiple drug abuse emerges from this analysis; the biggest number of cases were users of 4 drugs (81 cases), followed by 3 drugs (59 cases) and 5 drugs (58 cases). Thus, nicotine, alcohol and cannabis are precursors of heroin addiction. Other adjunctive drugs become important only after heroin addiction. Among these substances, opium and benzodiazepines are numerically preponderant.
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology
  8. Varma SL, Sharma I
    Br J Psychiatry, 1993 May;162:672-8.
    PMID: 8149120
    First-degree relatives (FDRs) of 162 schizophrenic and 106 control probands were investigated [corrected]. Psychiatric morbidity was present in 34.8% of FDRs of schizophrenic probands and in 9.2% of FDRs of controls. There was significantly more psychiatric illness in the siblings and parents than in the offspring of both schizophrenic and control subjects. The morbidity risks for schizoid-schizotypal personality disorders, cannabis-use disorder and paranoid personality disorder were significantly higher in the FDRs of schizophrenic patients than in those of controls, suggesting a biological relationship.
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology
  9. Singh D, Müller CP, Vicknasingam BK
    Drug Alcohol Depend, 2014 Jun 1;139:132-7.
    PMID: 24698080 DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.03.017
    BACKGROUND: Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) preparations have been traditionally used in Southeast Asia for its medicinal properties. Lately, Kratom use has spread to Europe and the US, where abuse potential and health hazards increasingly emerge. This study is the first to measure systematically Kratom dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and drug craving in regular Kratom users in Malaysia.
    METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of 293 regular Kratom users was conducted in the community across three northern peninsular states of Malaysia. The Leeds Dependence Questionnaire, Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist, and Marijuana Craving Questionnaire-Short Form were used to measure Kratom dependence, withdrawal and craving.
    RESULTS: More than half of the regular users (>6 month of use) developed severe Kratom dependence problems, while 45% showed a moderate Kratom dependence. Physical withdrawal symptoms commonly experienced include muscle spasms and pain, sleeping difficulty, watery eyes/nose, hot flashes, fever, decreased appetite, and diarrhoea. Psychological withdrawal symptoms commonly reported were restlessness, tension, anger, sadness, and nervousness. The average amount of the psychoactive compound, mitragynine, in a single dose of a Kratom drink was 79mg, suggesting an average daily intake of 276.5mg. Regular users who consumed ≥3 glasses Kratom per day, had higher odds of developing severe Kratom dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and inability to control Kratom craving.
    CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this study show that regular Kratom use is associated with drug dependency, development of withdrawal symptoms, and craving. These symptoms become more severe with prolonged use and suggest a stronger control of the drug.
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology
  10. Chan LF, Maniam T, Saini SM, Shah SA, Loh SF, Sinniah A, et al.
    Asia Pac Psychiatry, 2013 Apr;5 Suppl 1:123-6.
    PMID: 23857848 DOI: 10.1111/appy.12057
    INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to determine the association between sexual abuse, substance abuse and socio-demographic factors with suicidal ideation (SI), plans (SP) and deliberate self-harm (DSH) and propose steps to prevent youth suicidal behavior.
    METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of 6786 adolescents aged 17-18 years, selected randomly from all Malaysian adolescents to undergo compulsory youth camps located in Selangor, Malaysia (2008-2009). Participants were assessed using self-administered questionnaires developed to reflect the local cultural setting. However, only 4581 subjects were analyzed after excluding incomplete data.
    RESULTS: The rates of SI, SP and DSH were 7.6%, 3.2% and 6.3%, respectively. The multivariable-adjusted odds ratio showed that sexual abuse was associated with SI 1.99 (95% CI: 1.56-2.55), SP 1.57 (95% CI: 1.09-2.27) and DSH 2.26 (95% CI: 1.75-2.94); illicit drug use was associated with SI 4.05 (95% CI: 2.14-7.67), SP 2.62 (95% CI: 1.05-6.53) and DSH 2.06, (95% CI: 1.05-4.04); for alcohol use DSH was 1.34 (95% CI: 1.00-1.79). Being female was associated with all suicidal behaviors: SI 2.51 (95% CI: 1.91-3.30), SP 2.07 (95% CI: 1.39-3.08) and DSH 1.59 (95% CI: 1.19-2.11).
    DISCUSSION: Given the well-founded concern of increasing risk of suicidal behavior among youth, preventive efforts should adopt a more comprehensive approach in dealing with sexual abuse and substance abuse, and their sequelae, especially in girls.
    KEYWORDS: adolescent; risks; sexual abuse; substance abuse; suicidal behavior
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology*
  11. Razali MM, Kliewer W
    Addict Behav, 2015 Nov;50:149-56.
    PMID: 26135336 DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.06.022
    This study investigated risk and protective factors for recreational and hard drug use in Malaysian adolescents and young adults.
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology
  12. Sheela PS, Choo WY, Goh LY, Tan CP
    J Gambl Stud, 2016 Jun;32(2):643-59.
    PMID: 26499201 DOI: 10.1007/s10899-015-9577-3
    There has been emerging evidence regarding gambling experiences of young people in Asia recently, but to date, none in Malaysia. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of gambling, and to identify individual, familial and high-risk behaviours factors among Malaysian adolescents. A cross-sectional study was conducted over 4 months at randomly selected secondary schools in Seremban in Negeri Sembilan state. A total of 2265 self-administered, anonymous questionnaires were distributed to the students. The students completed the questionnaire consisting of sociodemographic and family background, gambling behaviours, high risk behaviours and mental health questions. Approximately 29.6 % (95 % CI 27.7-31.5) of respondents reported participating in some forms of gambling activities in the previous 12 months. Among these, 3.6 % (95 % CI 2.8-4.3) of them were problem gamblers. Parental gambling was the strongest correlate with adolescent gambling behaviour. Signification association was found between gambling behaviour and gender (being males), but interestingly, not with ethnicity. Adolescents who reported engaging in high risk behaviours (such as smoking, alcohol consumption, involvement in physical fights, illegal vehicular racing) were also more likely to gamble. Gambling is not an uncommon phenomenon amongst Malaysian adolescents. Public awareness campaign, health education to targeted groups, revision of existing laws, and screening at primary care level should be implemented to address the issue of gambling among adolescents. This study also highlights the need to examine the national scope of the problem in Malaysia.
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology
  13. Low WY, Zulkifli SN, Yusof K, Batumalail S, Aye KW
    Drug Alcohol Depend, 1996 Oct;42(2):105-15.
    PMID: 8889409
    A survey was carried out to gather information on knowledge, attitudes and perception of parents and their children in relation to drug abuse matters. Significantly more teenagers knew more of the cause of drug addiction, as well as places for treatment and rehabilitation. Both teenagers and parents were also aware of reasons why drug addicts find it difficult to change their habits, mainly lacking motivation to stop taking drugs and that drug addicts do not have the power to control themselves. Teenagers were significantly more aware of effects of negative parental attitudes contributing to drug abuse, apart from school factors. Personal experiences before abusing drugs such as knowledge of pleasurable effects of drugs and where to obtain them has also a role to play in leading to drug abuse. There was also agreement that unfulfilled needs such as 'not being respected recognised for ones capabilities' and 'not being loved or treated fairly by parents', were causes of drug abuse. Significantly more teenagers knew of the ways of abusing drugs, mainly by injection, smoking and sniffing, and also sources of information via the mass media, social clubs, rehabilitation centres and schools. However, both the parents and teenagers were relatively ignorant of the long term effects of abusing drugs.
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology*
  14. Gibson BA, Ghosh D, Morano JP, Altice FL
    Health Place, 2014 Jul;28:153-66.
    PMID: 24853039 DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.04.008
    We mapped mobile medical clinic (MMC) clients for spatial distribution of their self-reported locations and travel behaviors to better understand health-seeking and utilization patterns of medically vulnerable populations in Connecticut. Contrary to distance decay literature, we found that a small but significant proportion of clients was traveling substantial distances to receive repeat care at the MMC. Of 8404 total clients, 90.2% lived within 5 miles of a MMC site, yet mean utilization was highest (5.3 visits per client) among those living 11-20 miles of MMCs, primarily for those with substance use disorders. Of clients making >20 visits, 15.0% traveled >10 miles, suggesting that a significant minority of clients traveled to MMC sites because of their need-specific healthcare services, which are not only free but available at an acceptable and accommodating environment. The findings of this study contribute to the important research on healthcare utilization among vulnerable population by focusing on broader dimensions of accessibility in a setting where both mobile and fixed healthcare services coexist.
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology*
  15. Hassan Z, Muzaimi M, Navaratnam V, Yusoff NH, Suhaimi FW, Vadivelu R, et al.
    Neurosci Biobehav Rev, 2013 Feb;37(2):138-51.
    PMID: 23206666 DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2012.11.012
    Kratom (or Ketum) is a psychoactive plant preparation used in Southeast Asia. It is derived from the plant Mitragyna speciosa Korth. Kratom as well as its main alkaloid, mitragynine, currently spreads around the world. Thus, addiction potential and adverse health consequences are becoming an important issue for health authorities. Here we reviewed the available evidence and identified future research needs. It was found that mitragynine and M. speciosa preparations are systematically consumed with rather well defined instrumentalization goals, e.g. to enhance tolerance for hard work or as a substitute in the self-treatment of opiate addiction. There is also evidence from experimental animal models supporting analgesic, muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory as well as strong anorectic effects. In humans, regular consumption may escalate, lead to tolerance and may yield aversive withdrawal effects. Mitragynine and its derivatives actions in the central nervous system involve μ-opioid receptors, neuronal Ca²⁺ channels and descending monoaminergic projections. Altogether, available data currently suggest both, a therapeutic as well as an abuse potential.
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology*
  16. Loeliger KB, Marcus R, Wickersham JA, Pillai V, Kamarulzaman A, Altice FL
    Addict Behav, 2016 Feb;53:31-9.
    PMID: 26436520 DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.09.013
    Substance use and HIV are syndemic public health problems in Malaysia. Harm reduction efforts to reduce HIV transmission have primarily focused on men with substance use disorders.
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology
  17. Desrosiers A, Chooi WT, Zaharim NM, Ahmad I, Mohd Yasin MA, Syed Jaapar SZ, et al.
    J Psychoactive Drugs, 2016 05 25;48(3):218-26.
    PMID: 27224011 DOI: 10.1080/02791072.2016.1185553
    The primarily rural and agrarian Kelantan province of Malaysia has high rates of drug use and is characterized by unique sociocultural factors. Combining qualitative and ethnographic methods, we investigated drug use and treatment needs of people who use drugs (PWUD) in rural areas of Kelantan. In February 2014, field visits, participant observation, and focus group discussions (FGDs) with 27 active PWUD were conducted in rural areas surrounding the capital city of Kelantan. The findings indicate a high prevalence of opiate and amphetamine type stimulants (ATS) use in these areas. FGD participants reported initiating drug use at early ages due to peer influences, to relieve boredom, to cope with problems, and a high saturation of villages with other PWUD was reported as a major contributor to their own continued drug use. They reported a trend of drug use initiation at younger ages and increased drug use among females. Participants were interested in treatment; however, their limited knowledge about treatment options and perceived limited availability of services were barriers to treatment seeking. Easy access to drugs, primarily from Thailand and facilitated by the use of mobile phones, resulted in an expanding prevalence of drug use that underscores the need to bolster education and prevention efforts and accessibility of treatment services in Kelantan.
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology
  18. Narasingam M, Pandy V, Mohamed Z
    Exp. Anim., 2016 May 20;65(2):157-64.
    PMID: 26744024 DOI: 10.1538/expanim.15-0088
    The present study was designed to investigate the effect of a methanolic extract of Morinda citrifolia Linn. fruit (MMC) on the rewarding effect of heroin in the rat conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm and naloxone-precipitated withdrawal in mice. In the first experiment, following a baseline preference test (preconditioning score), the rats were subjected to conditioning trials with five counterbalanced escalating doses of heroin versus saline followed by a preference test conducted under drug-free conditions (post-conditioning score) using the CPP test. Meanwhile, in the second experiment, withdrawal jumping was precipitated by naloxone administration after heroin dependence was induced by escalating doses for 6 days (3×/ day). The CPP test results revealed that acute administration of MMC (1, 3, and 5 g/kg body weight (bw), p.o.), 1 h prior to the CPP test on the 12th day significantly reversed the heroin-seeking behavior in a dose-dependent manner, which was similar to the results observed with a reference drug, methadone (3 mg/kg bw, p.o.). On the other hand, MMC (0.5, 1, and 3 g/kg bw, p.o.) did not attenuate the heroin withdrawal jumps precipitated by naloxone. These findings suggest that the mechanism by which MMC inhibits the rewarding effect of heroin is distinct from naloxone-precipitated heroin withdrawal.
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology*
  19. Polonsky M, Azbel L, Wegman MP, Izenberg JM, Bachireddy C, Wickersham JA, et al.
    J Int AIDS Soc, 2016;19(4 Suppl 3):20880.
    PMID: 27435715 DOI: 10.7448/IAS.19.4.20880
    INTRODUCTION: The expanding HIV epidemic in Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan is concentrated among people who inject drugs (PWID), who comprise a third of prisoners there. Detention of PWID is common but its impact on health has not been previously studied in the region. We aimed to understand the relationship between official and unofficial (police harassment) detention of PWID and HIV risk behaviours.

    METHODS: In a nationally representative cross-sectional study, soon-to-be released prisoners in Kyrgyzstan (N=368) and Azerbaijan (N=510) completed standardized health assessment surveys. After identifying correlated variables through bivariate testing, we built multi-group path models with pre-incarceration official and unofficial detention as exogenous variables and pre-incarceration composite HIV risk as an endogenous variable, controlling for potential confounders and estimating indirect effects.

    RESULTS: Overall, 463 (51%) prisoners reported at least one detention in the year before incarceration with an average of 1.3 detentions in that period. Unofficial detentions (13%) were less common than official detentions (41%). Optimal model fit was achieved (X (2)=5.83, p=0.44; Goodness of Fit Index (GFI) GFI=0.99; Comparative Fit Index (CFI) CFI=1.00; Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) RMSEA=0.00; PCLOSE=0.98) when unofficial detention had an indirect effect on HIV risk, mediated by drug addiction severity, with more detentions associated with higher addiction severity, which in turn correlated with increased HIV risk. The final model explained 35% of the variance in the outcome. The effect was maintained for both countries, but stronger for Kyrgyzstan. The model also holds for Kyrgyzstan using unique data on within-prison drug injection as the outcome, which was frequent in prisoners there.

    CONCLUSIONS: Detention by police is a strong correlate of addiction severity, which mediates its effect on HIV risk behaviour. This pattern suggests that police may target drug users and that such harassment may result in an increase in HIV risk-taking behaviours, primarily because of the continued drug use within prisons. These findings highlight the important negative role that police play in the HIV epidemic response and point to the urgent need for interventions to reduce police harassment, in parallel with interventions to reduce HIV transmission within and outside of prison.

    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology*
  20. Bailey W, Truong L
    J Southeast Asian Stud, 2001;32(2):173-93.
    PMID: 19192502
    Matched MeSH terms: Substance-Related Disorders/psychology
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