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Effects of Dialectical Behavior Therapy on Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, Craving, and Depression in Patients with Opioid Dependence Disorder

Abstract

Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) is a common drug treatment for opioid dependence disorder. This treatment, with positive results, has many physical and psychological complications. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) on emotional regulation, distress tolerance, craving, and depression in patients under MMT. The present study was a randomized controlled clinical trial with two groups of intervention (MMT with Dialect-Behavioral Therapy (DBT)) and control group (MMT). Initial evaluations were performed by clinical psychiatrist at the clinic. 50 men who referred to the methadone treatment clinic were randomly assigned to two groups of the present study. The research data were collected from demographic information form, Structured Clinical Interview for Axis I Disorders, emotion regulation questionnaire, distress tolerance questionnaire, Instant craving questionnaire, and Beck Depression Inventory in three stages: pre-test, post-test and three-month follow-up. Statistical analysis was performed using Kolmogorov–Smirnov test, Lion test, Chi-square, T-test and repeated measures. The findings showed that MMT + DBT significantly improved emotion regulation and distress tolerance in post-test and 3 months follow-up, and significantly reduced craving and depression. The simultaneous combination of MMT with DBT can be helpful in reducing the psychological problems of opiate dependent people under MMT. Given the emphasis on dialectical behavioral therapy on emotion regulation as the main mechanism of change, this therapy can be a useful treatment for other psychological disorders that are involved with emotional problems.

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Acknowledgments

We thank the Thalas Babajani Health Network of Kermanshah, Iran.

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Correspondence to Zeinab Rezaie.

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All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Local Ethics Committee at the Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran (IRCT20170314033079N3).

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Rezaie, Z., Afshari, B. & Balagabri, Z. Effects of Dialectical Behavior Therapy on Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, Craving, and Depression in Patients with Opioid Dependence Disorder. J Contemp Psychother (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-020-09487-z

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Keyword

  • Methadone maintenance treatment
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy
  • Emotion regulation
  • Distress tolerance
  • Craving
  • Depression