Objective: The objective of this study was to assess craving and mood related to opioid and cocaine use among asymptomatic hepatitis C virus (HCV)+ and HCV- methadone patients who have not started antiviral treatment. Methods: In this 28-week prospective ecological momentary assessment (EMA) study, 114 methadone-maintained, heroin- and cocaine-abusing individuals reported from the field in real time on their mood, craving, exposure to drug-use triggers, and drug use via handheld computers. Results: Sixty-one percent were HCV+; none were overtly symptomatic or receiving HCV treatment. HCV status was not associated with age, sex, race, or past-30-day or lifetime heroin or cocaine use. In event-contingent EMA entries, HCV+ individuals more often attributed use to having been bored, worried, or sad; feeling uncomfortable; or others being critical of them compared with HCV- participants. In randomly prompted EMA entries, HCV+ participants reported significantly more exposure to drug-use triggers, including handling , seeing cocaine or heroin, seeing someone being offered/use cocaine or heroin, being tempted to use cocaine, and wanting to see what would happen if they used just a little cocaine or heroin. Conclusions: HCV+ individuals experienced more negative moods and more often cited these negative moods as causes for drug use. HCV+ individuals reported greater exposure to environmental drug-use triggers, but they did not more frequently cite these as causes for drug use. The EMA data reported here suggest that HCV+ intravenous drug users may experience more labile mood and more reactivity to mood than HCV- intravenous drug users. The reason for the difference is not clear, but HCV status may be relevant to tailoring of treatment.
- Ecological momentary assessment
- Hepatitis C
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health