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We set out to describe the prevalence and severity of psychiatric and substance use disorders (SUDs) in methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and to measure the impact on HCV-treatment eligibility. Psychiatric disorders, SUDs, and HCV-treatment eligibility were assessed in 111 MMT patients prior to a controlled trial of HCV treatment.

Lifetime and current diagnosis rates, respectively, were: any non-SUD Axis I disorder: 82% and 57%, any mood disorder: 67% and 35%, any anxiety disorder: 63% and 22%, any psychotic disorder: 11% and 9%. Antisocial personality disorder was present in 40%. A total of 56% met criteria for current SUDs. A total of 66% received psychiatric medications prior to HCV treatment; over half were receiving antidepressants. Despite psychiatric and substance use comorbidity, only 15% of patients were ineligible for HCV treatment: 10% due to failure to complete the evaluation, and 5% due to psychiatric severity. Substance use did not lead to ineligibility in any participant. Multiple logistic regression showed the Beck Depression Inventory contributed significantly to predicting HCV treatment eligibility. Most MMT patients were eligible for HCV treatment despite current SUD and non-SUD diagnoses. Depression severity may be a more significant predictor of HCV treatment eligibility than is substance use. (Am J Addict 2011;00:1–7)