Effect of Abstinence on Depression, Anxiety, and Quality of Life in Chronic Methamphetamine Users in a Therapeutic Community

Int J High Risk Behav Addict. 2015 Sep 1;4(3):e23903. doi: 10.5812/ijhrba.23903. eCollection 2015 Sep.


Background: During withdrawal, patients experience different symptoms. These symptoms are associated with relapse. Understanding different outcomes of methamphetamine abstinence is useful for finding better treatments for dependence.

Objectives: This study aimed to show the effects of abstinence on depression, anxiety, and quality of life in methamphetamine users.

Patients and methods: A prospective quasi-experimental (before and after study) method was used to show the effect of 3 weeks abstinence on depression, anxiety, and quality of life. A convenient sample of addicted people entered into the study and 34 people completed the study. Beck Depression Scale, Cattell Anxiety Inventory and Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) (for assessing quality of life), were used for outcome assessments.

Results: The mean depression score after abstinence decreased significantly (P < 0.001). Both hidden and obvious anxiety and total anxiety had a high level at admission and after 3 weeks of abstinence, the mean level of anxiety did not change significantly (P < 0.096). However, the quality of life increased after 3 weeks of abstinence (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Depression and anxiety are prevalent in methamphetamine users. Short-term abstinence improves depression and quality of life but does not improve anxiety in methamphetamine abusers. During follow up of these patients, addressing depression and anxiety is important to achieve better results.

Keywords: Amphetamine-Related Disorders; Anxiety; Depression; Methamphetamine; Quality of Life; Substance Withdrawal Syndrome.