Home > Issue 2 (Volume 14) > Factors affecting the quality of life of drug dependent people under methadone maintenance treatment


Introduction: Treatment approaches for drug addiction are classified into several general types: psychosocial interventions as a part of drug-free programs, opioid maintenance treatment programs and detoxification programs. Μethadone maintenance treatment (MMT) is one of the most common therapeutic approaches.

Aim: To investigate the factors that affect drug dependent people’s subjective Quality of Life (QOL) under MMT.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in a convenience sample of 209 drug dependent people under MMT provided by a substitution treatment unit (OKANA). They completed a questionnaire that included: a) demographic/occupational characteristics, b) the Short Form 12-Item Health Survey questionnaire (SF-12) and c) the Symptom Checklist-90-R (SCL-90-R). Data analysis was carried out using the statistical package SPSS 24.0.

Results: Mean scores for the physical (PCS) and the mental (MCS) subscale of SF-12 were 47.4(±8.8) and 38.6(±9.2) respectively, displaying lower level of drug dependent people’ QOL. High mean scores of the nine symptomatic dimensions and the three global indices of the SCL-90-R demonstrate existence between addiction and psychiatric disorder. Prolonged time period over two years under MMT was associated with deterioration in their QOL. Drug dependent people with the longest stay under MMT had higher scores in the subscales of somatization (p =0.051), the obsessive-compulsive disorder (p =0.013), the Global Severity Index (p=0.041) and the Positive Symptoms Total (p=0.033). Findings indicate that female sex, the age of initiation of drugs (younger age) and previous

Conclusions: In line with drug dependent people’s subjective QOL, prolonged time under MMT was associated with poor QOL. Therefore, changing MMT program’s philosophy is essential to cover drug dependent people’s further psychosocial needs.

Key-words: Detoxification, methadone, quality of life, substance abuse.

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