Lung Health in a history of people with opiate use (LHOP)
Breathing problems may occur directly due to heroin (opiate) misuse (depressed breathing rate, asthma attack) but doctors have also reported that the common co-use of other drugs (cigarettes, cannabis, crack cocaine) increases the risk of developing chronic lung disease. There has been little research investigating these risks in patients with a history of opiate misuse who may, due to the nature of their significant psychosocial and health problems, be hard to recruit and retain in clinical studies over time. 

The research doctor will attend an established community substance misuse clinic to discuss the study with patients who have been given written information about the study by their clinicians and who have consented to be approached. Following face to face informed consent by the research doctor, she will administer semi-structured questionnaires to patients, to find out about their respiratory health and any relevant prescribed treatment. A spirometer test will be offered to measure lung function and feedback and explain the results to them, and with their consent, their general practitioners. The researchers will also ask about whether the study is an important area of health for them and whether this is a reasonable way to approach and recruit similar patients to future studies. The participants will be offered a £10 voucher for their time. The data derived from the questionnaires will be entered into an anonymised data base.

Findings will be discussed with clinicians and service users in a clinical meeting, in order to embed consumer participation from the outset in an application for a grant for a large multi-centre cohort study (cohort and/or intervention study) for which this pilot stage is essential. In addition this will strengthen the researchers' grant application with an estimate of recruitment rates and feedback about choice and feasibility of administration of questionnaires.