Background and aims: Pathological narcissism is one of the personality disorders in drug abusers, and its main characteristic is self-conceit and lack of empathy and solidarity with others. The present study aimed to compare the effects of group dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and structured matrix treatment on pathological narcissism and craving for drugs among drug abusers in Ahvaz.
Methods: This was a quasi-experimental study based on a pretest-posttest design with control and test groups. The study population consisted of all drug abusers visiting the addiction rehabilitation centers affiliated with the Department of Social Welfare, Ahvaz, Iran, in 2021. Of them, 75 individuals were selected as the sample through the cluster random sampling method and were randomly assigned to two experimental groups and a control group. Participants in all three groups completed the Pathological Narcissism Inventory (PNI) and the Desires for Drug Questionnaire (DDQ) as the pre-test. The first experimental group participated in eight 90-minute sessions of group DBT. Moreover, the second experimental group underwent fourteen 90-minute sessions of structured matrix treatment. Finally, all participants took a post-test, and data were statistically analyzed by multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA).
Results: The results showed that both group DBT and structured matrix treatment reduced pathological narcissism and craving for drugs in experimental groups (P<0.001). However, there was no significant difference between the two experimental groups in the mean scores of pathological narcissism and craving for drugs.
Conclusion: As our findings demonstrated the effectiveness of group DBT and structured matrix treatment in reducing pathological narcissism and craving for drug among drug abusers, these two interventions, along with other therapies, are recommended to improve the mental state and reduce craving for drugs among drug abusers.