Methamphetamine dependence, psychologicalwell-being, criminality and high risk sexual behaviors in female-only methadone services in tehran and karaj, iran

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 2018, 12 (2)
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©2018, Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Background: Methamphetamine (MA) abuse is a health concern among drug abuse patients in Iran. Objectives: This study aimed at determining the prevalence of MA dependence among a group of female methadone users and investigating the current psychological well-being, high risk sexual and criminality behaviors, and the status of receiving MA treatment. Methods: This study was a cross-sectional survey conducted in Iran. The study was conducted at 5 central female-only methadone services in Tehran and Karaj, during years 2011 to 2013. A questionnaire was devised to collect baseline data. The general health questionnaire-28 and the Opiate Treatment Index were used to assess psychological well-being, and criminality and high-risk sexual behaviors. Results: Overall, 245 females were registered at these sites. Of them, 201 females (82%) were dependent on MA while on treatment. Duration of MAdependence was 6 years. However, only 14.3% of the participants reported lifetimeMAtreatment. Noparticipant was on MA treatment. Participants reported high rates of MA-related depression (76.4%), anxiety (68.4%), social dysfunction (41.2%), and somatic symptoms (38.2%), respectively. Untreated MA dependence in methadone treatment was associated with engagement in high-risk sexual behaviors (43.8%) and criminality (28.7%). Only 10% of the participants reported receiving a lifetime matrix model. All of them reported that the Matrix model was long and it was not easily available in methadone services. Conclusions: The study showed that the high prevalence for MA dependence and its adverse health impacts while receiving MA treatment remained the same. Effective psychosocial treatments should be delivered forMAdependenceamong female methadone users.
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