Background: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and poor glycaemic control in young adults with Type 1 diabetes may be associated with street drug use. There are few studies in the UK looking at the prevalence of drug use in young adults with diabetes.
Methods: One hundred and fifty-eight young adults, aged sixteen to thirty years, with Type 1 diabetes attending an urban diabetes clinic were sent an anonymous confidential postal questionnaire to determine the prevalence of street drug use.
Results: We received 85 completed responses. Twenty-nine percent of respondents admitted to using street drugs. Of those, 68 percent habitually took street drugs more than once a month. Seventy-two percent of users were unaware of the adverse effects on diabetes.
Interpretation: Self-reported street drug usage in young adults with Type 1 diabetes is common and may contribute to poor glycaemic control and serious complications of diabetes.