While methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) is beneficial for heroin dependence, there is little information regarding the reductions in monetary cost and gains in productivity following MMT. The aim of this study was to evaluate the changes in the monetary cost of heroin addiction and productivity after one year of MMT. Twenty-nine participants from an MMT clinic were included. The monetary cost, productivity, quality of life (QOL) and mental health status were assessed at both baseline and one year follow-up. The average annual total cost was approximately US$26,485 (1.43 GDP per capita in 2010) at baseline, and decreased by 59.3% to US$10,784 (0.58 GDP) at follow-up. The mean number of months of unemployment dropped from 6.03 to 2.79, the mean income increased to exceed the basic salary, but only reached 45.3% of the national average monthly earnings. The participants' mental health improved, but their QOL scores did not increase significantly. After one year of MMT, the monetary cost of heroin addiction fell, both the productivity and mental health of the participants' improved, but limited gains were seen with regard to their QOL.
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