Prevalence of Psychiatric Disorders among Heroin Users Who Received Methadone Maintenance Therapy in Taiwan

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Many patients under methadone maintenance treatment are present with comorbid psychiatric symptoms.


We wish to examine the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among heroin users who received methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) in Taiwan.


By combining the National Health Insurance Research database and Center for Disease Control database, 18,271 heroin users who received MMT were defined as the subject group and after matching age and sex, 73,084 patients were randomly selected as the control group.


The 1 year prevalence of any psychiatric disorder, any psychotic disorder, neurotic and other nonpsychotic disorder among MMT patients and control group were 13.14% versus 2.50% (OR 5.89, CI 5.53–6.27), 4.21% versus 1.29% (OR 3.38, CI 3.07–3.72), and 9.89% versus 1.31% (OR 8.25, CI 7.62–8.94), respectively.


The prevalence of any co-morbid psychiatric disorder among MMT patients is almost six times higher than the control group.

Scientific Significance:

A thorough psychiatric screening and appropriate aggressive intervention should be incorporated into an effective methadone treatment program. (Am J Addict 2014;23:249–256)

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