Lapse and Relapse Rates in Narcotics Anonymous Versus Methadone Maintenance Treatment: A 12-Month Prospective Study
Objective: The present study aimed to compare lapse and relapse-free survival between patients treated in Narcotics Anonymous (NA) groups and Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) centers and to determine the relationship between social support scale and treatment outcome.
Method: This study was a prospective, 12-month cohort study using the random sampling method to select 100 newcomer patients treated by the NA Association as well as 100 patients in MMT centers. The data were collected using a demographic questionnaire and Social Support Appraisals (SSA) scale at the onset of the study along with follow-up phone calls every other week.
Results: All participants were male, aged between 18 and 65 with a mean (SD) age of 38.98 (± 10.85) years. Prevalence of relapse in 12 months was 60.5%. The lapses in the MMT group and relapses in the NA group were significantly higher (P < 0.001). The younger patients with lower levels of education are at greater risk of lapse/relapse. The mean score of SSA was significantly higher in the MMT group than the NA group in all subscales, including friends, family, and the others' support (P < 0.001). The mean scores of SSA subscales for the participants without relapse in the NA group was significantly higher in comparison to the MMT group.
Conclusion: Detection of factors related to drug abuse relapse/lapse may help addiction therapists to identify drug abuse patients with lapse/relapse and to develop treatment and policy guidelines to prevent relapse in addiction recovery.