Schiff, Miriam, Nitsa Nacasch, Shabtay Levit, Noam Katz, and Edna B. Foa. “Prolonged Exposure for Treating PTSD Among Female Methadone Patients Who Were Survivors of Sexual Abuse in Israel.” Social Work in Health Care 54.8 (2015): 687-707.
The aims of this pilot study were: (a) to test the feasibility of prolonged exposure (PE) therapy conducted by a social worker staff on female patients in methadone program clinics who were survivors of child sexual abuse or rape and (b) to examine preliminary outcomes of PE on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and illicit drug use at pre- and posttreatment, and up to 12-month follow-ups. Twelve female methadone patients who were survivors of child sexual abuse or rape diagnosed with PTSD were enrolled in 13–19 weekly individual PE sessions. Assessments were conducted at pre-, mid-, and posttreatment, as well as at 3, 6, and 12-month follow-ups. The treatment outcomes measures included PTSD symptoms, depressive symptoms, and illicit drug use. Ten of the 12 study patients completed treatment. PTSD and depressive symptoms showed significant reduction. No relapse to illicit drug use was detected. These preliminary results suggest that PE may be delivered by methadone social workers with successful outcomes. Further research should test the efficacy of PE among methadone patients in a randomized control trial with standard care as the control condition.
Isralowitz, Richard, Alexander Reznik, and Itay Pruginin. “Quality of Life among Former Soviet Union and Israeli Origin Methadone Users.” Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse (early view; online first)
A common treatment intervention for heroin addiction is methadone maintenance. In recent years a wider perspective has been adapted to understand and evaluate addiction through quality of life. This article examines quality of life conditions of 170 male former Soviet Union and Israeli origin drug users in methadone maintenance and provides an understanding of conditions linked to the World Health Organization Quality of Life project’s best available techniques reference document. Having a partner or spouse and less chronic illness are positive factors affecting quality of life regardless of country of origin. Israeli born drug users reported better quality of life based on their psychological health and environment domain responses; no difference was found for the physical health and social relationship domains of the Israeli and former Soviet Union origin males. Because heroin addiction is a chronic and relapsing illness, one of the goals of methadone maintenance is to address patients’ health status from a broad perspective. Based on clinical observations, the treatment of special populations may be enhanced if their particular needs are considered and met. Quality of life factors are relevant for assessing high risk groups, including those from different ethnic origins, in poor physical and psychological health, their treatment and personal adjustment, and their service personnel training needs.