Illicit drugs linked to loss of control in type 1 diabetes

Among 500 people with type 1 diabetes recruited to undertake a survey, nearly half had used illicit drugs within the past year.

The most common drugs were ecstasy (19%), cannabis (14%), methamphetamine/‘speed’ (11%) and cocaine (7%). Much higher proportions of the respondents had “ever” used drugs including cannabis (88%), ecstasy (64%), ‘speed’ (52%), cocaine (40%) and ‘ice’ 16%.

Poor glycaemic control was triple the rate among drug users versus non-users and they also had a higher risk of diabetic ketoacidosis.

Int Med J 2012; 412: 198-20