Document Type

Article

Department

Internal Medicine (East Africa)

Abstract

Background: Assessing the experiences of individuals on methadone treatment is essential to help evaluate the treatment program’s efectiveness. This study aimed to explore the experiences of patients receiving methadone treatment at a clinic in Nairobi, Kenya.

Method: This study employed an exploratory qualitative study design. Through purposive sampling, participants were enrolled from individuals attending a methadone clinic for at least 2 years. Semi-structured individual interviews were used to collect data on substance use and experience before methadone treatment and experiences after starting methadone treatment, including benefts and challenges. Interviews were transcribed, and NVIVO 12 software was used to code the data using the preidentifed analytical framework. Thematic analyses were utilized to identify cross-cutting themes between these two data sets. Seventeen participants were enrolled.

Results: Seventeen participants were enrolled comprising 70% males, with age range from 23 to 49 years and more than half had secondary education. The interview data analysis identifed four themes, namely: (a) the impact of opioid use before starting treatment which included adverse efects on health, legal problems and family dysfunction; (b) learning about methadone treatment whereby the majority were referred from community linkage programs, family and friends; (c) experiences with care at the methadone treatment clinic which included benefts such as improved health, family reintegration and stigma reduction; and (d) barriers to optimal methadone treatment such as fnancial constraints.

Conclusion: The fndings of this study show that clients started methadone treatment due to the devastating impact of opioid use disorder on their lives. Methadone treatment allowed them to regain their lives from the adverse efects of opioid use disorder. Additionally, challenges such as fnancial constraints while accessing treatment were reported. These fndings can help inform policies to improve the impact of methadone treatment.

Publication

Addiction Science & Clinical Practice

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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