Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Original Article

Depressive Symptom Severity-Related Clinical Characteristics in Korean Male Patients with Methamphetamine Use Disorder


Department of Psychiatry, Bugok National Hospital, Changnyong, Korea


Department of Psychiatry, Konyang University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea


Division of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Bugok National Hospital, Changnyong, Korea


Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Busan, Korea


Department of Psychiatry, Inje University Haeundae Paik Hospital, Busan, Korea

Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2020; 30: 107-114
DOI: 10.5455/PCP.20200305034929
Read: 1008 Downloads: 556 Published: 19 January 2021

Background: Methamphetamine (MA) use continually increases in world wide. MA users present diverse psychiatric comorbidities. The presence of these comorbid symptoms is positively correlated with poorer treatment outcomes and greater utilization of health care services. Depressive symptoms, in particular, are considered to be some of the most common psychiatric symptoms in this population Our study aimed to investigate depressive symptom severity-related clinical characteristics in male Korean methamphetamine (MA) users.

Methods: The inclusion criteria were as follows: (i) male; (ii) age ¡İ 18 years; (iii) a diagnosis of stimulant use disorder, especially for amphetamine-type substances, according to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5); and (iv) positive urine test for MA at the time of admission. The exclusion criteria were as follows: (i) patients who were diagnosed with cognitive disorders, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorders; and (ii) patients who were diagnosed with significant physical illnesses, such as cerebrovascular, cardiovascular, or neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, a total of 200 Korean male patients with MA use disorder were included in our study. By reviewing the medical records of 200 male MA users hospitalized in a substance addiction treatment center of South Korea, the clinical characteristics in a MA abstinent state, including scores on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Symptom Checklist-90-R Revised (SCL-90-R), and Korean Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (KWAIS) were collected. Analyses of covariances (ANCOVAs) for continuous variables and binary logistic regression analyses for discrete variables were used to compare the clinical characteristic scores among four groups that were defined by the severity of their depressive symptoms (i.e., minimal, mild, moderate, and severe).

Results: After adjusting for the effects of age, marital status, employment status, monthly income, age of first MA use, pursuit of euphoria, gastrointestinal symptoms, insomnia, hallucination, and cigarette smoking, a greater severity of depressive symptoms was significantly correlated with greater prevalence of aggression (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.065, P = 0.004) and irritability (aOR = 2.051, P = 0.001), greater scores on the BAI (F = 22.480, P < 0.0001) and all the items of SCL-90-R, and lower scores on the verbal intelligence quotient (F = 2.699, P = 0.047) of the KWAIS.

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate a potential relationship between depressive symptom severity and other clinical characteristics among male patients with MA use disorder. Thus, depressive symptoms may be an important clinical concern for psychiatric treatment of MA users.

To cite this article: Jang OJ, Oh HS, Kim EY, Park JH, Park SC. Depressive Symptom Severity-Related Clinical Characteristics in Korean Male Patients with Methamphetamine Use Disorder. Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2020;30(2):107-114

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