Use of various substances, including opioid use is often associated with coming in contact with the law- enforcement agencies. Data are scarce on the unique socio-demographic and clinical correlates from the Indian population. The current study aims to explore the clinical and socio-demographic correlations of law enforcement involvement among treatment-seeking adult males with opioid use disorder.
We screened adult males presenting for the treatment of opioid use disorder at the outpatient department of a tertiary care hospital in North India. We measured law enforcement involvement by asking if the patient was ever apprehended by police, had any pending legal case against them, had any history of drug trafficking, or had any history of incarceration. We divided the entire study population based on law enforcement involvement versus no involvement. We compared both the groups in terms of socio-demographic and other clinical parameters. Binary logistic regression analysis was carried out to find the independent predictors of law enforcement involvement in this population.
Out of a total of 204 patients with opioid use disorder, sixty-two participants (30.4%) had a history of law enforcement involvement, with all 62 of them being apprehended by the police at least once, 27 (13.2%) had a history of incarceration, 13 (6.4%) had a criminal case pending and 3 (1.5%) had a history of peddling drugs. We found out that high-risk sexual behavior, injecting drug use, and urban residence were associated with involvement with law enforcement.
Getting involved with the law- enforcement agencies among patients with opioid use disorders may be associated with high-risk behaviors. Legal involvement among opioid-dependent individuals may also be an impediment to the treatment processes, especially when such patients are incarcerated.

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