Publications by authors named "Mercedes Lovrecic"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Trends of Hospitalization for Acute Alcohol Intoxication in Slovenian Children and Adolescents with and without Dual Disorder. Implications for a Correct Intervention.

J Clin Med 2020 Jul 6;9(7). Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Association for the Application of Neuroscientific Knowledge to Social Aims (AU-CNS), 55045 Pietrasanta, Italy.

Background: Binge drinking and other forms of ethanol abuse are, when present, a serious problem in preteens and adolescents worldwide.

Aim: The present study has analyzed the trend in alcohol-related intoxications requiring the hospitalization of children, adolescents and young adults aged less than 21 years in Slovenia in the 1999-2018 period.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study on patients discharged after hospitalizations due to mental and behavioral disorders due to acute alcohol intoxication (MBDAAI) or hospitalizations due to the toxic effects of alcohol (TEA We considered three groups: children (aged 10-14), adolescents (aged 15-19) and young adults (20-21 years old). Hospitalization rates and time trends were analyzed using joinpoint regression to obtain the annually calculated age- and sex-specific rates and the annual percentage of change (APC).

Results: Considering a total of 2912 MBDAAI-hospitalizations, 15-19-year-old subjects showed a significantly higher hospitalization rate compared to the immediately younger and older age groups and a significant increase in hospitalization rates in the period 1999-2011, followed by a significant decrease. Considering 1143 TEA-hospitalizations, we observed a continuous decrease in the hospitalization rates for children and young adults and, conversely, a continuous even if less than significant increase for adolescents aged 15-19.

Conclusions: Alcohol consumption in Slovenian children and adolescents is a highly important health concern. Special attention to public health problem of severe alcohol abuse requiring hospitalization in children and adolescents is needed, especially with possible crisis of SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19 situation.
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July 2020

Non-Medical Use of Novel Synthetic Opioids: A New Challenge to Public Health.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 01 9;16(2). Epub 2019 Jan 9.

G. De Lisio Institute of Behavioral Sciences, 56100 Pisa, Italy.

: In the last decade there has been a progressive increase in the use of new psychoactive substances (NPSs) that are not yet under international control. In particular, novel synthetic opioids (NSOs) have reappeared on the recreational drug market in the last few years. As a result, the use of NSOs has increased rapidly. This poses an emerging and demanding challenge to public health. : To raise awareness among clinicians and other professionals about NPSs, especially NSOs, to summarize current knowledge about pharmacological properties, forms of NSO on the market, pattern of use, effects and consequences of use. : An electronic search was carried out on the Medline/PubMed and Google Scholar databases to find selected search terms. : Some NPSs are already controlled, while others can be legally sold directly on the drug market (mainly via internet, less so by drug dealers) or be used as precursors for the synthesis of other designer drugs that mimic the psychoactive effects of controlled substances. Potential side-effects of NSOs include miosis, sedation, respiratory depression, hypothermia, inhibition of gastrointestinal propulsion, death (from opioid overdose). : The severity of the opioid crisis has intensified with the introduction of highly potent NSOs on the drug market. As long as addicts are dying from overdose or similar causes, there is something more constructive to do than waiting for addicts to overdose on heroin at a place located near a remedy, as if to say, within reach of naloxone.
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January 2019

Alcohol and cocaine use and abuse among opioid addicts engaged in a methadone maintenance treatment program.

J Addict Dis 2007 ;26(1):61-70

Department of Psychiatry-NPB, University of Pisa, Pisa, 56100, Italy.

Alcohol and cocaine abuse result in unsatisfactory treatment outcomes for heroin and illicit opioid addicts engaged in Methadone Maintenance Treatment Programs (MMTPs). This study aims to clarify the impact of MMT, which focuses on cessation of opioid abuse and diminishing psychopathology to acceptable levels (stabilization) on alcohol and cocaine abuse. Of specific interest was whether reduction of polysubstance abuse and associated psychopathological complications diminished illicit opioid abuse and/or increased retention in treatment. Changes in cocaine and alcohol use that occurred in 53 heroin addicts who had been stabilized were monitored. A control group was composed of patients terminated from treatment due to noncompliance with treatment recommendations, poor attendance, or failure to have opioid abuse stabilized, within a year. The association of psychiatric severity with alcohol and cocaine abuse in these methadone maintained patients was assessed. Cessation of illicit opioid abuse and retention in treatment are positively correlated with decrease in alcohol and cocaine abuse and the absence of the psychosocial complications associated with such abuse.
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June 2007

QTc interval prolongation in patients on long-term methadone maintenance therapy.

Eur Addict Res 2005 ;11(1):44-9

PISA-SIA (Study and Intervention on Addictions) Group Santa Chiara, University Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, NFB, University of Pisa, Italy.

Objective: The aim of the present study was to assess the incidence of abnormal QTc interval values in a population of subjects on a long-term methadone maintenance treatment, as a single therapy, and with methadone dosages ranging between 10 and 600 mg/daily (mean+/-SD=87+/-76).

Method: Basal ECG recordings were carried out in 83 former heroin addicts on long-term successful methadone maintenance therapy for at least 6 months, while no other known QT-prolonging agent was being administered.

Results: Eighty-three percent of the subjects had a more prolonged QT interval than the reference values for persons of the same sex and age. Only 2 patients displayed a QTc interval of >500 ms. No correlation emerged between QTc values and methadone dosages.

Conclusion: Patients on long-term methadone maintenance treatment show longer than expected QTc interval values. This data, associated with the finding that methadone is a rather potent inhibitor of HERG potassium channels and that it may induce torsade de pointes in predisposed subjects, supports the recommendation that patients entering methadone treatment (MT) are screened for cardiac risk factors. ECG might be considered in ongoing MT patients especially before starting QT-prolonging medications.
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May 2005

Diagnostic and symptomatological features in chronic psychotic patients according to cannabis use status.

J Psychoactive Drugs 2004 Jun;36(2):235-41

Department of Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Italy.

The prevalence and the clinical meaning of cannabis use in patients with chronic psychosis has not been systematically explored. The authors have compared the diagnostic and symptomatological characteristics of 111 male patients affected by chronic psychosis with and without past or current use of cannabis. Sixty-six patients were still using or had used cannabis; in all cases the use preceded the onset of psychotic symptoms. Forty-three patients were cannabis-positive on urinary screening at the moment of hospitalization and 23 were currently cannabis-free but reported the use of cannabis in the past. Forty-five patients were negative on urinary screening and reported no past history of cannabis use. In evaluating the psychopathological features, the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and the Overt Aggression Rating Scale (AORS) were used. The three groups showed similar demographic data, except for age, which was lower in current cannabis users than in nonusers; no differences were found between current and past users. As regards diagnostic features, "mood cluster" was significantly better represented in cannabis users and "schizophrenic cluster" in nonusers; bipolar spectrum disorders were more frequently reported than unipolar ones. When past and current users were grouped together, only blunted affect score was significantly higher in nonusers than in users, while clastic violence showed higher scores in users. These data indicate that chronic, psychosis, whether associated with past or with current use of cannabis, is frequently associated with bipolar spectrum disorders and tends to display less blunted affect and more clastic behavior.
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June 2004