Evaluation of the suicide risk factors among methadone maintenance treatment of opiate dependent individuals: A six month assessment


Background: Opiate abuse is a universal socio-medical problem and one of the most important risk factors for suicide, especially in accordance with other psychological disorders. This study designed to evaluate four important suicide risk factors in methadone maintenance therapy clinics within six months treatment. Method: In this cross-sectional study, a psychologist performed interviews with 82 patients who attended in methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) center of Hejazi and Ebnesina hospitals’ clinics, Mashhad, Iran. Five questionnaires including demographic characteristics, Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS), Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation (BSS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were completed at first visit and after six months treatment. Results: Eighty two individuals (68 male and 14 female) ranged between 20 to 44 years old (31.68 ± 4.93) abused mostly crystal (crystal heroein) (79.3%), opium (15.9%) then Shishe (methamphetamine) (4.9%). All studied characteristics of the patients decreased significantly after six month follow up (P < 0.01). As BAI, BHS and BSS and BDI were 33.06 ± 14.47, 6.64 ± 5.47, 3.37 ± 3.14 and 8.45 ± 6.17 respectively, before the study and 17.62 ± 8.5, 2.69 ± 2.65, 1.02 ± 1.17 and 5.81 ± 3.41 after the study period, respectively. Most of studied characteristics of the patients attempted suicide (BDI, BHS and BAI) weren’t significantly different between gender before and after the study period (P > 0.05), while BHS after MMT period decreased significantly in men (P = 0.028). Conclusion: The positive effect of methadone maintenance therapy on reduction of four important risk factors for suicide imply on another benefits of this treatment method and it is useful for reduction of suicide risk, among substance abusers.

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Mokhber, N. , Afshari, R. and Farhoodi, F. (2012) Evaluation of the suicide risk factors among methadone maintenance treatment of opiate dependent individuals: A six month assessment. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 2, 91-95. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2012.22013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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