Objective: Substance abuse is commonly associated with psychiatric disorders including mood disorders (especially depression), personality disorders and psychosis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the therapeutic effect of methadone on depressive symptoms of imprisoned intravenous substance user.
Methods: This semi-experimental study was conducted on intravenous drug abusers in prison. Demographic characteristics of the prisoners, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and a psychiatric interview checklist based on DSM-IV were completed when prisoners started their sentence. After 3 months of Methadone therapy, prisoners were evaluated again. Data were analyzed by using paired T-test.
Results: From 37 prisoners under the study, 35 ones entered the evaluation. Based on clinical interview, 26 (74.3%) were diagnosed with Major Depression Disorder, 2 of which were excluded and referred to standard treatment because of suicidal ideas. Nineteen patients showed improvement after treatment with Methadone. BDI score was 38.6±10.6 and 28.2±11.3 before and after the invention respectively (P<0.0001).
Conclusion: This study shows that methadone could improve depressive symptoms in prisoners who are addicted to illegal substances and therefore is a recommended treatment in prison setting.
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