The Correlation between Methadone Dosage and Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders in Patients on Methadone Maintenance Treatment

Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 Assistant Professor, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Neuroscience Research Center AND School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Resident, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 MA in English, Iran Language Institute, Kerman, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Neuropsychiatrist, Neuroscience Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


Background: Methadone Maintenance Treatment is a useful method for opioid dependents, which results in harm reduction and increased quality of life in opioid dependents. The prevalence of psychiatric disorders in addicts is higher than in the general population which can interfere with the course and treatment of substance dependents and decrease the efficacy of treatment. Methods: This descriptive, cross-sectional study was aimed to determine the correlation between psychiatric disorders and methadone dosage. It was performed on 154 patients of Kerman Shahid Beheshti Hospital’s Methadone Clinic during a six month period from Dec 2010 to Jul 2011. The study population was chosen by convenience sampling. The searching tools were Socio-Demographic Questionnaire, psychiatric structured interview based on DSM-IV-TR, Beck Depression Inventory, Young Mania Rating Scales, and Anxiety and Depression Rating Scales. Findings: Significant correlations were observed between increased methadone dosage and antisocial personality disorder. In addition, significant positive correlations were observed between increased methadone dosage and Hamilton anxiety scores, Hamilton depression scores and Young Mania scores. Conclusion: High methadone dosage may be a marker of coexisting psychiatric disorders in patients on methadone maintenance treatment which indicates the necessity of devoting further attention to this group. Psychiatric services should be open and accessible to the patients, especially those who seek treatment voluntarily. Early diagnosis and treatment of patients with coexisting psychiatric disorders may increase the efficacy of methadone maintenance treatment.   Keywords: Methadone maintenance treatment, Psychiatric disorders, Substance dependents