Influence of opium availability on addiction rates in laos

Joseph Westermeyer

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16 Scopus citations


Crude rates of opium addiction were determined in 1972-1974 in ten communities of Laos, representing eight different ethnic groups and three provinces. In six rural communities, data were obtained by a house-to-house survey, and In four urban communities by opium den registration. Communities raising opium poppy as a cash crop had highest crude rates of addiction (7.0-9.8 addicts per 100 people). Those involved in opium commerce had intermediate rates (4.1-5.5). Where neither opium production nor commerce was present, the communities had the lowest rates of addiction (1.8-2.3).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-562
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1979
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 56455. (Reprint requests to Dr. Westermeyer at this address.) Logistic and financial support was obtained from the Ministries of Health, Social Welfare and Interior in Laos; Public Health Division of the US Agency for International Development; Minnesota Medical Foundation; International Programs Office at the University of Minnesota; and the National Institute of Drug Abuse (grant nos. 1R01 DA 01599 and 5 T01 DA00023).


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