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Drugs of abuse pattern in Taiwan

Abstract

Methamphetamine and heroin are the two most important drugs of abuse in Taiwan. In order to investigate whether other drugs are also abused here, we collected samples from high-risk groups. To study whether the pattern of drugs abuse varies with different geological location, we collected samples from Taipei (north), Taichung (central), Kaoshiung (south) and Hualien (east), representing four different locations in Taiwan. A total of 4255 samples were collected from February 1997 to January 1998. Another 100 samples were collected from Taipei and Hualien on October 2000. Samples were screened with DRI enzyme immunoassay (based on the principle of Emit®) to detect 8 different drugs of abuse. The positive rates are as follows; Amphetamines 79.5%, Opiates 37.9%, Benzodiazepines 22.1%, Barbiturates 1%, Methadone 0.4%, PCP and the two most common drugs of abuse in Western society, marijuana and cocaine, were not detected.

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