The official journal of
EUROPAD - European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
WFTOD - World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
Editor: Icro Maremmani, MD - Pisa, Italy, EU
Associate Editors:
Thomas Clausen, MD - Oslo, Norway
Pier Paolo Pani, MD - Cagliari, Italy, EU
Marta Torrens, MD - Barcelona, Spain, EU
Statistical Editor:
Mario Miccoli, PhD - Pisa, Italy, EU

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Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems: 2024, 26, 14

The relationships among withdrawal symptoms and depression in IV injection and non-injection groups in a population of heroin users

Kunhua Lee, and Cheng Fang Yen

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Summary: Background: Preventing heroin use is a critical issue. Several negative consequences of heroin use were confirmed, including overdose, depression, severe withdrawal symptoms, IV injection, or criminality. Literature indicates that intravenous injection (IV injection) is popular among drug users, and IV injection could make depression worsen. However, little study examined the role of IV injection on depression, withdrawal symptoms, and heroin use. We proposed a hypothesised model of IV injection on depression, withdrawal symptoms, and drug use in IV injection, non-injection, and all participants. Methods. Two hundred and thirty-four heroin users who received methadone replacement treatment were recruited in this study. After informed consent, they were asked to complete the severity of depression, withdrawal symptoms, and drug use questionnaires. Descriptive analysis was to describe the distributions of the participants. The participants were classified into IV injection and non-IV injection. In both groups, the Structural Equation Model (SEM) was applied to examine the fitness of the hypothesised model on IV injection, non-injection, and all participants, respectively. The significant level was set at 0.05. Results. Twenty-seven female and two hundred-seven male participants completed the questionnaires. The average age was 42.46 years (S.D.= 6.93). Total participants confirmed the mediating effect of depression, but no significant was found in the IV injection and non-injection group. Overall, goodness-of-fit indices in IV injection were better than in non-injection. Conclusions. Our findings supported the moderated effect of IV injection on withdrawal symptoms, depression, and drug use. People with IV injections could take more drugs to improve their depressive mood when they feel withdrawal symptoms compared with non-IV injections. A large sample and longitudinal study should be conducted to examine the moderated effect of IV injection.

Keywords: Heroin use; IV injections; withdrawal symptoms


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