Background: Long-term heroin abuse is related to pathological changes in many organs mediated by oxidative stress (OS).
Objectives: Estimation of systemic OS and antioxidant capacity in heroin addiction and detoxification provides information about prooxidant/antioxidant homeostasis in heroin misuse and need for antioxidant supplementation.
Methods: OS was evaluated by the measurement of plasma reactive oxygen metabolites using spectrophotometric method and plasma lipid peroxidation by its end product--malondyaldehyd using Tiobarbituric Acid Reactions Substances method. The extracellular antioxidant capacity was estimated using OXY-adsorbent test.
Results: This cross-sectional study includes 68 patients: 46 heroin addicts (20 patients on chronic heroin abuse, 19 patients on conventional method of detoxification and 7 patients on opioid antagonist--naltrexone (and 22 patients as a control) group. Increased OS was found in the heroin group (d-ROMs 349.3 +/- 102.2 UCarr, MDA 4.0 +/- 0.4 micromol/L) compared to the group on detoxification (d-ROMs 230.2 +/- 96.4 UCarr; MDA 3.6 +/- 0.3 micromol/L) and control group (d-ROMs 264.1 +/- 30.9 UCarr; MDA 3.7 +/- 0.2 micromol/L). TAC was decreased in the heroin group (324.5 +/- 75.0 micromol HClO/ml) and restored during conventional detoxification (371.8 +/- 25.1 micromol HClO/ml), but not completely in the group with naltrexone treatment (335.6 +/- 16.9 micromol HClO/ml) compared with controls (395.4 +/- 35.6 micromol HClO/ml).
Conclusion: Long-term heroin abuse stimulates a progressive systemic oxidative stress which increases the extracellular antioxidants consumption and develops conditions for chronic heroin toxicity (Fig. 1, Tab. 4, Ref. 35). Full Text (Free, PDF) www.bmj.sk.