Abstinence Following a Motivation-Skill-Desensitization-Mental Energy Intervention for Heroin Dependence: A Three-year Follow-up Result of a Randomized Controlled Trial.


Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430030, China. [Email]


The high rate of relapse among heroin users remains a significant public concern in China. In the present study, we utilized a Motivation-Skill-Desensitization-Mental Energy (MSDE) intervention and evaluated its effects on abstinence and mental health. Eighty-nine male heroin users in a drug rehabilitation center were enrolled in the study. The participants in the MSDE intervention group (n=46) received MSDE intervention, which included motivational interviewing, coping skills training, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and mindfulness-based psychotherapy. The participants in the control group (n=43) received a series of lectures on skills training. A significant increase in Contemplation Ladder score (P<0.001) and decreases in scores on the Obsessive Compulsive Drug Use Scale (P<0.001), Beck Depression Inventory (P<0.001), and Aggression Questionnaire (P=0.033) were found immediately after intervention. Compared to the control group, the MSDE intervention group reported significantly higher abstinence rates (P=0.027) and retention rates (P<0.001) at follow-up. Overall, the MSDE intervention, which uses a combined strategy for relapse prevention, could be a promising approach for preventing relapse among heroin users in China.


cognitive therapy,eye movement desensitization and reprocessing,heroin dependence,motivational interviewing,relapse prevention,