Suicidal ideation among heroin-abusing mothers in methadone maintenance treatment

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1 Scopus citations


Background: There is a dearth of information about mothers in methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), their parental stress, and suicidal ideation. Aim: To evaluate parenting stress and suicidal ideation among heroin-dependent mothers in MMT. Method: The study was conducted at an MMT center. Inclusion criteria were mothers with at least one child between 6–12 years of age. Mothers (n = 41) were interviewed about their background characteristics, drug use, parenting stress, and suicide ideation. Results: The mothers’ median age was 44 (27–63 years), 35% were single, 20% married or with a partner, 45% separated or divorced, 83% were Jewish, and about one-third completed elementary school only. Among the study participants, 52% reported ever thinking about suicide, 28% reported past-year ideation, and 15% indicated they were likely to complete suicide someday. Mothers who have used heroin and cannabis reported high levels of parenting stress. Mothers with high parenting stress levels were more likely to report suicidal ideation. Country of origin status did not differentiate those interviewed. Conclusion: This study provides insight into a hard-to-reach population of mothers needing treatment, parental skills training, and mental stress reduction. Further research is needed to generalize the findings for treatment, education, and training purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-464
Number of pages4
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Heroin addiction
  • Methadone maintenance treatment
  • Mothers
  • Parenting stress
  • Suicidal ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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