Relationships between Dissociative Disorders and Personality Traits in Opium Addicts on Methadone Treatment

Alireza Ghafarinezhad, Ghodratollah Rajabizadeh, Vahid Shahriari


Background: Drug abuse is a major public health problem. Some believe that when dissociation fails to defend against emotional, physical, or sexual trauma, the person will find relief from unpleasant thoughts and emotions in opium use. On the other hand, personality disorders are considered as important predictors of treatment outcomes in drug abusers. Due to lack of adequate research in this regard, we evaluated dissociative disorders and personality traits of opium addicts on methadone treatment.

Methods: This cross-sectional analytic study included 111 non-psychotic subjects on methadone treatment (case group) and 69 non-addicts (control group). After recording demographic characteristics, Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES) and Millon Multiaxial Inventory III were applied to assess dissociative symptoms and clinical personality patterns of all participants.

Findings: Dissociative symptoms were significantly more common in the case group than in the control group (P = 0.044). While dramatic personality disorder was more frequent in the control group (P = 0.008), sadistic, antisocial, and schizotypal personality disorders were significantly more common in the case group ((P = 0.008, 0.002, and 0.023, respectively).

Conclusion: We found relations between history of drug dependence, dissociative symptoms, and personality disorders. Therefore, the mentioned disorders need to be kept in mind while planning addiction treatment modalities and identifying high risk groups.

Keywords: Dissociation, Personality traits, Patients, Methadone

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