The Effect of Methadone Maintenance Therapy on Harm Reduction in Opiate Dependents in Kerman Socio-Behavioral Consulting Centers

Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Kerman Neuroscience Research Center and School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences

2 Psychiatrist, Kerman Neuroscience Research Center and School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences

3 General Practitioner


Abstract Background: Socio-behavioral consulting centers offer methadone maintenance therapy which is a very useful method for drug dependents. These centers offer a wide range of services like education, consulting, prevention, care taking of patients and treatment for high risk groups such as AIDS-infected patients. Methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) is helpful in harm minimization and increasing the quality of the drug dependent's life; therefore, reducing infection in HIV patients. This study intends to investigate the importance of MMT on harm reduction in opioid dependents in Kerman. Methods: This descriptive, cross sectional study was performed on 110 patients referred to No. 1 and No. 2 socio-behavioral consulting centers in Kerman city in 2005 and 2006. Data was gathered by questionnaires once at the beginning of treatment and once 6 months after. Then the data was analyzed by SPSS13 and chi square test. Findings: MMT resulted in a 97.3% reduction in common injections, 96.4% decrease in arrest and imprisonment, 80% decrease in family problems and 68.2% decrease in drug abuse and negative morphine tests in these centers. After 6 months of treatment, drug consumption expenses were also diminished. Conclusion: This study showed that treatment with MMT in these centers reduced dangerous behaviors, increased the quality of life and controlled transmission of dangerous diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis in the community. Keyword: Methadone maintenance therapy, Harm reduction, Socio-behavioral consulting centers