Background. Examination of the health status of patients abusing opiates can be substantiated by their high
morbidity. The aim of the work was to describe the actual health status and the extent and seriousness of the affliction
before the substitution therapy with opioid receptors agonist – methadone.
Methods and Results. The group of drug abusers consisted of 101 persons (average age was 28.5 years, within
the range of 20 to 47 years, 77 men and 24 women). Among the pathological findings, values of the levels of hepatic
enzymes ALT, AST (35 and 31 %), GMT (9 %), low haemoglobin levels (24 %) and elevated values of IgM (38 %)
and CRP (25 %) belonged to the most frequent ones. Because of the simultaneously positive tests for hepatitis (C
and B, 70 % and 61 %), the alteration is fully obvious. Low testosterone levels in males (63 %) indicate the
dysfunction of the hypothalamus-hypophysis-gonadas axis. Increased values of thyroxin (14 %), P (20 %) and
atherogenity index (19 %) remain unexplained. Several other laboratory-biochemical parameters remained within
the physiological range. Imaging methods revealed hepatomegaly in 28 % and splenomegaly in 27 %, echotexture
indicating steatosis was found in 15 % of studied persons.
Conclusions. In chronic drug abusers before the onset of the substitution therapy, it is possible to expect frequent
alterations, namely that of hepatic functions, positive test for hepatitis B and C, alteration of immunoglobulines level
and testosterone deficits (in males).
drug abusers, methadone, hepatic enzymes, tests for hepatitis B and C, blood picture, testosterone.