Psychotropic Drug Usage and Human Behaviour During Fire Emergencies

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Lykiardopoulos, Chris (2014) Psychotropic Drug Usage and Human Behaviour During Fire Emergencies. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Relatively little is known about the impact psychotropic drugs, particularly sedatives, have on human behaviour in a residential fire emergency. Two separate but related avenues of investigation were conducted to explore human behaviour in fire when under the influence of psychotropic drugs. In Study One the efficacy of current and alternative smoke alarm signals was tested after the consumption of hypnotics. A supplementary objective was to examine the relationship between sleep quality and arousal thresholds. Study Two retrospectively analysed an Australian database of fire fatalities using advanced algorithmic modelling techniques to determine: (a) if users of psychotropics and hypnotics were overrepresented in the Australian fire fatality statistics; and (b) the relationship between psychotropic drug consumption and a number of behavioural, environmental, and demographic risk factors. The research provided new, important evidence revealing an uncomfortably high level of risk to users of psychotropic drugs, particularly hypnotics, in a residential fire context. This was the first time psychoactive drug usage had been considered in such detail in the international literature.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1115 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords sedative drugs, domestic fires, Australia, accidental deaths
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