© 2018, Edita Socidrogalcohol. All rights reserved. Methadone maintenance programs (MMP) for opioid dependence treatment have been widely used due to their effective therapeutic outcomes. Harm reduction programs (HRP) are complementary programs for severe patients with high risk behaviors and when abstinence is not possible. This study aims to compare patients in MMP that use HRP (MMP-HRP) and patients in MMP who do not use HRP (MMP-NO HRP). The sample was composed of 143 patients (MMP-HRP = 42 vs. MMP-NO HRP = 101). An additional subanalysis was performed with patients under 45 years of age (n = 116; MMP-HRP = 38 vs. MMP-NO HRP = 78). All patients were assessed with an ad hoc socio-demographic questionnaire, EuropASI, SCID-I, and SCID-II. Results show that MMP-HRP patients were younger with more frequent use of intravenous drugs and with a high prevalence of Cluster B personality disorders. MMP-NO HRP patients had lower methadone doses compared to MMP-HRP patients and preferred to use drugs by smoked route more frequently. In the subanalysis of patients under 45, MMP-HRP patients were younger, had a higher prevalence of liver diseases, more intravenous drug use, greater severity on the drug use scale, less social and family support in the suescales of EUROP-ASI than compared to patients under 45 years in the group MMP-NO HRP. In conclusion, MMP-HRP patients are younger compared to MMP-NO HRP patients, they also receive higher doses of methadone and had more intravenous use. The above findings imply that the early onset of high risk drug use and long-term exposure to heroin have more severe outcomes such as higher comorbidities (e.g. infectious diseases, medical and psychiatric disorders), and consequently, these patients are a more vulnerable group with a worse prognosis.
- Harm reduction program
- Hepatitis C
- Heroine dependence
- Methadone maintenance treatment