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ScientificTracks Abstracts: J Addict Res Ther
I llegal drug use is a hidden phenomenon however in recent times viable methods have been developed and applied to produce regular and current prevalence and incidence estimates and model opiate addiction. While drug use continues to spread at local and global levels the development of these methods to produce geographically distributed prevalence and incidence estimates is essential for the planning and provision of effective treatment services. Diffusion models have been previously used to model the geographic spread of a general epidemic. This research further develops the diffusion model to describe the geographic spread of opiate use. The model is applied to data on opiate use in Ireland to model the geographic spread of opiate use. Results indicated a decreasing pattern of infectious opiate users as the distance travelled from city A increases and an increasing number of infectious opiate users when approaching city B. This research addresses the need for a valid model to describe the spatial spread of opiate users both nationally and internationally for policy makers and service providers responsible for allocating increasingly scarce funding for treatment services.The model is beneficial to planners and treatment service providers as it permits them to apportion increasingly scarce funding and resources for drug treatment based on predicted client treatment requirements. This globally applicable model also allows policy makers to determine where new drug treatment facilities could be required and make budgetary provisions for facilities as and when the need arises.
Dr Dempsey completed her PhD in 2011 at Trinity College Dublin on modelling the prevalence, incidence and geographical spread of opiate use. She is the Practice Lead at the Centre for Practice and Healthcare Innovation at Trinity College Dublin. Her research interests include addiction, inherited risk of substance use, mathematical models for substance use and modelling health outcomes of substance users.
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