Background Craving for substance use has been added as one of the diagnostic criteria of substance use disorders in DSM-5. However, further research is necessary to examine and expand the clinical potential of craving in the assessment and treatment for heroin users. This study aimed to examine the psychometrics of the Desire for Drug Questionnaire-Chinese Mandarin version (DDQ-CM) and its clinical utility of assessing craving for heroin measured among heroin users with methadone maintenance treatment (MMT). Method Self-reported craving for heroin use was measured on the DDQ-CM and visual analog scale among 314 intravenous heroin users receiving MMT. Self-reported heroin dependence, attitude toward heroin use, readiness to change heroin use, and depression were collected. Results The results found that although the original three-factor model was acceptable for applying the DDQ-CM for heroin users with MMT, only the concurrent validity of the subscales of Desire and Intention and Negative Reinforcement was supported but not that of Control. Meanwhile, the levels of craving on the subscales of Desire and Intention and of Negative Reinforcement on the DDQ-CM were positively associated with the levels of heroin dependence, positive and negative attitudes toward heroin use, and depression, but negatively associated with readiness to change heroin use. Conclusions This study supported the application of the subscales of Desire and Intention and Negative Reinforcement on the DDQ-CM to measure heroin craving in Taiwanese-Chinese heroin users and supported the clinical implication of craving in heroin users with MMT.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes