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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 51-56

Effectiveness of combined methadone maintenance treatment and psychosocial treatment program for heroin-dependent patients ( an international experience)

1 Department of Psychiatry, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt
2 Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (ISAP), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), California, USA

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.7123/01.EJP.0000412560.66206.66

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To evaluate the effectiveness of combined methadone maintenance treatment and psychosocial treatment program for heroin-addicted patients.

Participants and methods

Forty-eight heroin-dependent participants were interviewed using the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), 5th ed., and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview during the first week of their admission to a methadone clinic in Los Angeles, California, for baseline assessment. A follow-up ASI assessment was made 6 months after their first interview.


ASI revealed that 67% of participants reported chronic medical problems, 69% were unemployed, 94% had been incarcerated, and 71% had suffered from psychiatric symptoms in the past 30 days, the most common being anxiety and depression. Female participants reported significantly more severe medical, employment, and psychiatric problems than did male participants. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview revealed that 63% met criteria for the presence of one or more current psychiatric disorders. By the time of follow-up investigation, 15 participants had dropped out of the study. Participants who were still in treatment showed significant improvement in their medical, drug, legal, family, and psychiatric problems compared with their baseline assessments.


Combined methadone treatment and psychosocial treatment worked well for most of the participants of both sexes with or without comorbid psychiatric disorders.

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