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Arch Iran Med. 2019;22(10): 541-545.
  Abstract View: 207
  PDF Download: 196

Original Article

An Exploratory Study of Units of Reporting Opium Use in Iran: Implications for Epidemiologic Studies

Elham Mohebbi 1 ORCID logo, Farin Kamangar 2,3 ORCID logo, Afarin Rahimi-Movaghar 4 ORCID logo, Ali Akbar Haghdoost 5 ORCID logo, Arash Etemadi 2,6, Saber Amirzadeh 7, Farid Najafi 8,9, Fariba Shafeie 10, Ali Fakhari 11, Karim Ghaleban 11, Soodabeh Shahid-Sales 12, Zeinab Sadat Hosseini 13, Mohammad Reza Honarvar 14, Fatemeh Majnooni 15, Maryam Hadji 1, Kazem Zendehdel 1,16 *

1 Cancer Research Center, Cancer Institute of Iran, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Digestive Oncology Research Center, Digestive Diseases Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Biology, School of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD, USA
4 Iranian National Center for Addiction Studies (INCAS), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
5 Modeling in Health Research Center, InstiMetabolic Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USAtute for Future Studies in Health, Kerman Medical Science University, Kerman, Iran
6 Metabolic Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA
7 Social Determinants of Health Research Centre, Institute for Futures studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
8 Research Center for Environmental Determinants of Health, Institute of Health, Kermanshah Medical Sciences University, Kermanshah, Iran
9 Social Development and Health Promotion Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran
10 Treatment Affairs Deputy, Department of Substance Abuse Treatment, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran
11 Research Center of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
12 Department of Radiation Oncology, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
13 Student Research Committee, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad Branch, Mashhad, Iran
14 Management and Social Development Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran
15 Public Health Deputy, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran
16 Cancer Biology Research Center, Cancer Institute of Iran, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Background: Measuring the amount of opium use is a challenge in epidemiologic studies. Self-report of amount of opium use at each consumption, widely used in the literature, usually fails to provide a good estimate. The purpose of this study is to systematically study the perceived weight units of reported opium use in Iran, and compare them to the standardized units of weight measurement.

Methods: An exploratory descriptive study was conducted in six major cities of Iran. Study participants were interviewed and asked to use a Play-Doh-like material to demonstrate the amount of opium they use. To obtain an estimate of the weight of the material used, we multiplied the volume by the density of the opium product. We experimentally determined the density of the commonly used opium products. We used medians and inter-quartile ranges (IQRs) to report the typical amount of each unit.

Results: A total of 108 individuals participated in this study. The most frequently reported unit was “gram”; the median perceived weight for one gram (g) of opium was 0.24 (IQR: 0.16) g. The second most commonly used unit was nokhod with a median of 0.16 (IQR: 0.16) g, followed by mesghaal and hab/habeh, which were 1.28 (IQR: 0.81) and 0.16 (IQR: 0.16) g, respectively. The median perceived weight of mesghaal and gram in the studied cities was less than the expected standardized values.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the reported amount of opium use is highly inaccurate and unreliable, and is mainly subject to underestimation.

Keywords: Environmental Exposures, Epidemiology, Iran, Opium, Substance-related disorders
Cite this article as: Mohebbi E, Kamangar F, Rahimi-Movaghar A, Haghdoost AA, Etemadi A, Amirzadeh S, et al. An exploratory study of units of reporting opium use in Iran: implications for epidemiologic studies. Arch Iran Med. 2019;22(10):541–545.
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Submitted: 15 Jun 2019
Accepted: 08 Sep 2019
ePublished: 01 Oct 2019
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