Drug violence, and social problems. The direct complications of

Drug abuse is one of the world’s most overwhelming health problems;
it can be considered as a predominant problem, especially in Iran. In 2015,
drug abuse-related disorders resulted in 307,400 deaths compared to 165,000
deaths in 1990. Among these, the highest numbers were from alcohol abuse-related
disorders, which caused 137,500 deaths; opioid abuse-related disorders caused
122,100 deaths, amphetamine abuse-related disorders caused 12,200 deaths, and
cocaine abuse disorders caused 11,100 1,2.

Iran, located along the trade route of illegal drugs (the borders
of Afghanistan), has one of the highest rates of drug addiction. Health ministry officials estimate
there are 2.2 million drug addicts in this country of 80 million, 2.75% of the
population. Substance abuse and its
consequences impose a heavy burden on the individual and take a heavy toll in
terms of severe health complications, risky behavior, violence, and social
problems. The direct complications of substance abuse include cardiac crisis,
respiratory dysfunction, cirrhosis, nephropathy, infectious diseases such as
hepatitis, AIDS, and tuberculosis, and mental problems such as depression as
well as oral and dental health problems 3-5.

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Oral health problems are among the most prevalent health issues
associated with drug addiction. Many studies state that substance abuse can
lead to periodontal diseases, dental caries, pathologic lesions, issues in
teeth mobility, and missing teeth. In addition, there are other side effects
and lifestyle factors such as the frequent consumption of sugary and fizzy
drinks, xerostomia, bruxism, dental attrition, infrequent oral hygiene, and the
destructive nature of some drugs that exacerbate the dental and oral health in
drug abusers 6,7.

Meth mouth is a very severe tooth decay that causes loss of teeth
as well as tooth fracture, acid erosion, and other oral problems that are
potentially symptomatic of the extended use of the drug methamphetamine. In
addition, the most notable effect of the long-term use of methamphetamine on
dental health is the development of caries (tooth decay), in which the teeth of
the drug user appears to be dark and in the process of disintegrating. The
effects of illicit drugs on oral and dental health have been evaluated in some
studies over the recent decades, but only few have assessed the effects of
hallucinogens 8-10.

In light of the increasing prevalence of drug abuse involving
hallucinogens, opioids, and methamphetamines in Iran, especially among
teenagers, and the severe effects of these substances, the aim of the study is
to perform a comprehensive evaluation of their effects on the oral and dental
health of drug abusers in order to improve the understanding of these
complications, which can lead to prevention, early detection, and more
effective treatments.