In the methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) as the treatment of choice in opiate dependency, retention is considered as a target. Given the paucity of data regarding factors affecting retention in MMT in Iran, we sought to determine the predictors of duration of retention. This multi-center prospective study was conducted at 7 outpatient treatment facilities in 4 cities in Iran, in 2007. 282 consecutive opiate dependent people were followed for 6 months, following their entry to MMT. Independent data were registered at baseline and included socio-demographic, social, psychological, drug related and legal data. Length of retention in MMT (0 - 6) considered as dependent variable. Predictors of length of retention were determined using a backward linear regression model. Retention was 0 months in 17.7% (n = 50), 1 months in 19.8% (n = 56), 2 months in 9.2% (n = 26), 3 months in 3.5% (n = 10), 4 months in 8.2% (n = 23), 5 months in 18.8% (n = 53) and 6 months in 22.7% (n = 64). According to the backward linear regression, the only predictors of remission were city (B=0.427, p < 0.001, CI = 0.339 - 0.514), perceived importance of distance to clinic (B = -0.008, p = 0.085, CI = -0.018 - 0.001), perceived social support (B = 0.006, p= 0.069, CI = 0.000 - 0.013), and perceived pleasure with drug use (B = 0.010, p = 0.007, CI = 0.003 - 0.017). This study shed light on factors that may serve as barriers for remaining in MMT for opiate dependence, in Iran. Some variables should be considered in programs developed by Iranian authorities to increase retention rate in MMT.
Key words: Treatment retention, drug use, opiate, methadone maintenance.
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