Author(s): Ahmadi J, Toobaee S, Kharras M, Radmehr M
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Abstract AIMS: Psychiatric disorders are common among substance dependants. The objectives of this study were to assess the rate of neurotic disorders among opioid addicts, and reassess the rate of those neurotic disorders two weeks after complete detoxification of the patients. MEASUREMENTS: Data were gathered from 500 (496 men and 4 women) opioid dependants, using DSM-IV criteria. The Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire (MHQ) was used to measure free-floating anxiety, depression, phobia, obsession, hysteria and somatization. RESULTS: Four hundred and ninety-six (99.2\%) of the subjects were men of whom the majority (65.2\%) were married, 26.4\% single and the others were divorced or separated. Three hundred and thirty-four (66.8\%) were in age range of 20 to 39 years. Of the subjects 154 (30.8) were self-employed, 116 (23.2\%) were factory workers, 100 (20\%) unemployed, 64 (12.8\%) employees and 32 (6.4\%) retailers. The majority, 322 (64.4\%), reported elementary and high school as their level of education and only 20 (4\%) were illiterate. The means for neurotic disorders (using the MHQ) before and two weeks after detoxification were 10.12 and 9.98 for anxiety, 7.54 and 7.41 for phobia, 10.10 and 9.76 for depression, 11.11 and 11.05 for obsession, 8.47 and 8.49 for hysteria and 9.82 and 9.46 for somatization, respectively. The mean difference was significant only for depression. CONCLUSIONS: Present findings indicated that the rate of neurotic disorders in opioid dependants is high and (except for depression) was not significantly different before detoxification and two weeks after detoxification. Opium was found to be the most prevalent form of opioid used. Also it can be concluded that during the last years some demographic characteristics of Iranian opioid addicts in this sample have changed. Cultural attitudes toward substance use quite likely affect the pattern of substance use. These findings can be considered when planning preventive and therapeutic programs.
This article was published in Int J Soc Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Psychiatry