|A study of fatal poisoning due to alcohol and drugs was carried out, to examine the mortality resulting from alcohol and drugs in the Greater Amman County, Jordan.
A retrospective review of all autopsy records and deaths certificates issued by the department of forensic medicine at Jordan University Hospital was carried out. Cases were identified and analyzed according to age, race, sex, manner of death of the victims along with blood alcohol concentration, and drugs detected at autopsies.
A total of 60 cases involving drugs and alcohol were identified, during the 18 years (1978-1996 ) in the 6109 postmortem cases examined in our department. 40 were males (66.6%), 7 were females (11.6%) and 13 were children < 5 years (21.6%). The majority of the victims were Jordanians 51 ( 85%) and 9(15%) were of other nationalities. Alcohol seems to be equally prevalent as other drugs in causing fatal poisoning in Jordan. A significant gender difference in alcohol cases (100% males) in comparison to drugs (58.8% males) was observed. The adult male to female ratio was 5.7:1 in all cases. It was found that 76.6% and 23.3% of the fatalities were due to accidental and suicidal ingestion, respectively, of alcohol and drugs.
Fatal poisoning due to alcohol and drugs had a minor contribution to the total deaths among Jordanians in comparison to other societies. The risk of alcohol related deaths was noticed only among adult males, children < 5 years exhibited a high risk of fatal poisoning with drugs. Suicide by drug was not a common problem as was expected.