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 165,000deaths in 1990. Among these, the highest numbers were from alcohol abuse-relateddisorders, which caused 137,500 deaths; opioid abuse-related disorders caused122,100 deaths, amphetamine abuse-related disorders caused 12,200 deaths, andcocaine abuse disorders caused 11,100 1,2.Iran, located along the trade route of illegal drugs (the bordersof Afghanistan), has one of the highest rates of drug addiction. Health ministry officials estimatethere are 2.
2 million drug addicts in this country of 80 million, 2.75% of thepopulation. Substance abuse and itsconsequences impose a heavy burden on the individual and take a heavy toll interms of severe health complications, risky behavior, violence, and socialproblems. The direct complications of substance abuse include cardiac crisis,respiratory dysfunction, cirrhosis, nephropathy, infectious diseases such ashepatitis, AIDS, and tuberculosis, and mental problems such as depression aswell as oral and dental health problems 3-5.
Oral health problems are among the most prevalent health issuesassociated with drug addiction. Many studies state that substance abuse canlead to periodontal diseases, dental caries, pathologic lesions, issues inteeth mobility, and missing teeth. In addition, there are other side effectsand lifestyle factors such as the frequent consumption of sugary and fizzydrinks, xerostomia, bruxism, dental attrition, infrequent oral hygiene, and thedestructive nature of some drugs that exacerbate the dental and oral health indrug abusers 6,7.Meth mouth is a very severe tooth decay that causes loss of teethas well as tooth fracture, acid erosion, and other oral problems that arepotentially symptomatic of the extended use of the drug methamphetamine. Inaddition, the most notable effect of the long-term use of methamphetamine ondental health is the development of caries (tooth decay), in which the teeth ofthe drug user appears to be dark and in the process of disintegrating. Theeffects of illicit drugs on oral and dental health have been evaluated in somestudies over the recent decades, but only few have assessed the effects ofhallucinogens 8-10.In light of the increasing prevalence of drug abuse involvinghallucinogens, opioids, and methamphetamines in Iran, especially amongteenagers, and the severe effects of these substances, the aim of the study isto perform a comprehensive evaluation of their effects on the oral and dentalhealth of drug abusers in order to improve the understanding of thesecomplications, which can lead to prevention, early detection, and moreeffective treatments.