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Article Title

Drug use and profile of individuals arrested on drug-related charges in Taiwan

Abstract

A total of 931 urine specimens and associated donor profile data resulting from drug-related arrests made between January and July 2002 were collected from 12 cities/counties throughout Taiwan. Urine specimens were screened on a REMEDi HS drug profiling system. Drug use findings and profile data were subjected to pattern analysis. Results indicated a drug positive rate of 74%, with 39 drugs identified. Opiates and amphetamines were the major drugs of abuse, with detection rate of 40% and 38%, respectively. Drug users were found in all age categories (from 12 to 57 years old), and were predominantly male (M/F ratio > 5). Most arrests were made in residences or along roadways (92%-95% of total arrests). A large number of those arrested had quit school before completing junior high school and many had records of multiple arrests. By contrast, club drugs (MDMA/ketamine) were found in our sample group at lower rates (10% and 5%, respectively). Club drug users tended to be younger (mostly under 27 years old), better educated, and with a smaller gender gap (M/F ratio < 3.5). Club drug users were identified only in four relatively urbanized cities/counties and many arrests were for first offenses. Benzodiazepines (BZ) were found throughout the sample, with a detection rate of 18%. The profile identified for BZ users is similar to that of opiate and amphetamine users, although a higher ratio of BZ users (14%) were arrested in recreational places.

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