Childhood sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and use of heroin among female clients in israeli methadone maintenance treatment programs (MMTPS)

Miriam Schiff*, Shabtay Levit, Rinat Cohen-Moreno

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated association between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a 1-year follow-up heroin use among female clients in methadone clinics in Israel. Participants were 104 Israeli female clients from four methadone clinics (Mean age = 39.09, SD = 8.61) who reported victimization to childhood sexual abuse. We tested traces in urine of these female clients for heroin a year preceding and a year following the assessment of their PTSD. Results show that 54.2% reported symptoms that accedes the DSM-IV criteria for PTSD. We found that among childhood victim-ized women PTSD is associated with more frequent use of heroin at a 1-year follow-up even after controlling for duration of the stay at the clinic, background, other traumatic experiences and heroin use a year prior the assessment of their PTSD. This study shows the potential long-run negative consequences of childhood sexual abuse. Not only are these sexually abused women trapped into drug dependence and addiction, they cannot break the vicious cycle of continuing the use of illicit drugs even when treated for their addiction. One major practice implication is that treatment for PTSD proven efficacious will be provided in the methadone and other drug treatment services.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)799-813
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
Volume49
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Received October 14, 2009; accepted February 18, 2010. This study was funded by the Warburg Foundation of the JDC and Rosenbaum Foundation, Hebrew University. We would like to thank our dedicated research assistants: Ranit Lugassi, Naamit Sholomoh, and Alex Magnus. Without their enormous investment in the project, this study could not come true. Address correspondence to Miriam Schiff, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Hebrew University, Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel, 91905. E-mail: [email protected]

Keywords

  • Childhood sexual abuse
  • Heroin
  • Methadone treatment
  • PTSD
  • Women drug use

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