International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 9 Num. 3 - October 2009


Drug Use and Antiretroviral Adherence in Methadone Maintenance Patients: A Longitudinal Study

Volume 9 Num. 3 - October 2009 - Pages 365-381


Santos Orejudo Hern?ndez , Luc?a Ladero Mart?n , Jos? Antonio Carrobles Isabel , Carmen Malo Aznar , Carmen Almendros Rodr?guez


This study investigates the relationship between antiretroviral treatment and drug abuse. For
this prospective study, investigators followed a sample of 100 HIV+ patients on a methadone
maintenance program in Madrid (Spain), over a period of time of one year. A high percentage
of participants (more than 50% according to the indicators) were seen to be compliers,
another percentage continued without taking the drug, and from 12% to 18% of the participants
discontinued or started the treatment. All of these groups were statistically associated with
different drug abuse patterns, measured both through self-reports and urinalyses. The first
group usually remained abstinent, the second used opiates, cocaine, benzodiazepines and
alcohol, those who discontinued the treatment had relapsed and consumed opiates, cocaine
and had increased their frequency of alcohol consumption, and those starting the treatment
had given up the use of opiates and cocaine and reduced alcohol intake. The use of alcohol,
opiates and cocaine were the variables best discriminating amongst the groups.

Key words:

HIV, methadone program, compliance, drug abuse, alcohol abuse.

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