Male admissions to six methadone maintenance programs in three cities were interviewed. The characteristics of these patients in the seven Addiction Severity Index (ASI) scales-medical, employment/support, alcohol, drug, lelgal, family/socila and psychiatric—were described. The characterization of drug addicts was not found to be unidimensional. Though the admissions, as a group, had some positive characteristics (e.g., over 50% reported full time employment over the past three years), they also reported severe problems. For the 30 days prior to interview, heroin was the most commonly used drug, followed by cannabis, cocaine, and alcohol. Less than 10% had never been arrested and subjects reported engaging in crime on 6.4 of the past 30 days. The majority of these subjects had never married, but very few lived alone. The most common psychiatric symptoms reported were depression and anxiety. Characteristics were compared between programs and differences were found in race and age as well as two of the seven ASI areas. Thus, despite differences in demographics there was a great commonality in terms of the characteristics of adminissions to these programs. The implications of this for the behavioral problems related to drug abuse and for the development of treatments aimed at specific areas (such as measured by the ASI) were discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Phychiatric Mental Health
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health