A Dynamical System Approach in Modeling Drug Abuse in Isfahan Province, Iran
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)
The use/abuse of drugs, both legally and illegally, is a worldwide public health problem, and has serious impacts on the individual, family, society, and crimes. In order to assess the scope of the drug use/abuse issue, it is critical, first, to determine the number of individuals using/abusing drugs, the epidemiological/demographic features of the using/abusing population, and the type of drugs used/abused. Currently, data on the prevalence and incidence of substance abuse in Iran cannot be directly obtained. We propose the next phase of determining the prevalence and incidence of drug abuse by introducing system thinking and system dynamics modeling to estimate the number of addicts, recreational drug users, and drug-related deaths.
In this study, we evaluated a dynamical system approach to model drug-related deaths in the next 10 years in Isfahan province.
We proposed a general model for drug abuse that can easily be specified to study the dynamics of drug-related deaths.
Based on the estimated parameters, we calculated the total population of Isfahan province, the future susceptible population of drug users/abusers, recreational users, and addicts, and the growth rates and death rates for the latter three groups for the years 2013 - 2023. These estimations were based on an epidemiological mathematical model to predict the proportions of drug abusers over the next ten years in Isfahan. As expected, this model shows an increase of about 10 folds in deaths related to drug abuse in addicts by 2023 and a 14% increase in the addict population in Isfahan province.
The dynamical system approach is suitable to address the dynamic complexity of many public health issues. It has the potential to integrate our awareness about multilevel causes of health and their template of action, reaction, and feedback, and to promote our knowledge about how policy interventions affect the health of communities and populations.
Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Volume:13 Issue: 1, Mar 2019
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