Imagine a group of adults (~1300 total) with heart attacks who go to an ER.

Using cocaine is bad for your heart, so ideally all patients with heart attacks should be asked about cocaine use. But only about half are asked (blue circle).

Our research staff surveyed patients about cocaine use, and about 11% said they use it (red circle).

Most people have to be admitted, but about 25%  (yellow circle) get to go home — where they could use cocaine again (since they’re not being monitored).

What I’m trying to show:

  • some people will be surprised at how only half of people who use cocaine were asked about this by doctors (since it’s a risk) — suggests doctors aren’t good at guessing who uses, or don’t ask everyone
  • some people will be interested that 25% of patients get to go home
  • it’s concerning that a chunk of people going home weren’t asked about cocaine (N=52+N=24), including those who actually do use it (N=24)
  • the N=161 group is people who use cocaine and weren’t screened, which is concerning, but at least they’re in the hospital so they won’t be able to use it right away again.