Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Opioid abuse and addiction affects more than 2.4 million people in the United States. Medication assisted treatment (MAT), in combination with counseling, is recognized as the most effective treatment for patients with opioid dependence and abuse. Although MAT is considered the most effective treatment, previous research has found clinically significant weight gain with methadone. The purpose of this study was to determine if hedonic eating behaviors, sugar cravings, and addictive like eating was related to weight gain in opioid addicted patients receiving methadone and buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone™). Hedonic eating behaviors were measured using three validated surveys. Following survey collection, a chart review was completed to determine weight changes over time. One hundred twenty surveys were completed and 113 were analyzed. No differences were found between the medication groups in terms of mean age, weight at entry, BMI at entry, race, sex, and Hepatitis C status. A subset of 39 participants was analyzed for weight changes during treatment. There were no differences in food addiction scores, hedonic eating behaviors, and food cravings between the medication groups. We found significant weight gain in patients receiving methadone and no weight changes for those receiving Suboxone™. Weight gain in methadone maintenance does not appear to be related to addictive like eating, food craving, or hedonic eating. This research suggests that weight gain seen in methadone maintenance for opioid addiction treatment is related to something other than hedonic eating behaviors. Clinically significant weight gain should be considered when prescribing methadone for opioid addiction.
Number of Pages
McDonald, Elizabeth, "Hedonic Mechanisms of Weight Changes in Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction" (2017). Graduate College Dissertations and Theses. 669.