Comparing the Effects of Methadone Maintenance Treatment, Therapeutic Community, and Residential Rehabilitation on Quality of Life and Mental Health of Drug Addicts

Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, School of Humanities, Payam-e-Noor University, Sari, Mazandaran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences, School of Humanities, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran


Background: This study compared the effects of three drug addiction treatment methods on quality of life and mental health of drug addicts. Methods: In this study, 227 Iranian male drug addicts were selected from Mazandaran Province (northern Iran). They were randomized to be treated with methadone maintenance treatment, therapeutic community, or residential rehabilitation. The Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) were completed by the subjects at the start and end of the study. The length of intervention and SF-36 and GHQ scores before and after treatment were compared between groups. All statistical analyses were performed in SPSS15. Findings: Significant differences in quality of life and mental health scores were found between the three groups. We found that if drug addicts stay in the therapeutic community center for more than 6 months, this method will be the most effective intervention to improve quality of life and mental health of drug abusers. Conclusion: Evaluation of different methods drug addiction treatment is very difficult. Therefore, further studies are required to better understand the effects of therapeutic community.Keywords: Quality of life, Mental health, Drug abuse, Methadone maintenance, Residential rehabilitation, Therapeutic community