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Received date: Nov 25, 2015; Accepted date: Mar 09, 2016; Published date: Mar 16, 2016
Citation: Amiri M, Taheri Z, Hosseini M, Mohsenpour M, Davidson PM (2016) Factors Affecting Tendency for Drug Abuse in People Attending Addiction Treatment Centres: A Quantitative Content Analysis. J Addict Res Ther 7:270. doi:10.4172/2155-6105.1000270
Copyright: © 2016 Amiri M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Background: Addiction is an unpleasant social phenomenon that leaves heavy destructive consequences, like a storm, for the addict, their family and community. Studies show that addiction has a growing trend in Iran. The purpose of this study was to identify factors affecting tendency for drug abuse.
Materials: This quantitative content analysis study was conducted on 32 people attending an addiction treatment centre in Shahin Shahr city, Iran in 2014. Participants were selected by purposive method and data were collected through interviews. After converting to text, content of the interviews was analysed by quantitative content analysis method.
Results: Data are presented in four main categories with the highest repetition: (1) environmental factors (friendly gatherings, communicating with drug users), (2) family factors (a drug user in the family, loneliness and separation from family, family problems and disputes), (3) individual factors (attracting the opposite sex, wealth, being athlete, curiosity and receiving energy, youth ignorance, sickness), and (4) social factors (having a hard job, unemployment, lack of recreation, convenient access to drugs).
Conclusion: The most prevalent factors affecting tendency for drug abuse included environmental and family factors. So it is necessary to perform preventive measures in the community by developing related education in families, schools and universities so that tendency for drug abuse is reduced in Iran.
Drug addiction is one of the fundamental problems in the society, which destroys millions of lives and national resources for fighting, treatment and harms incurred by addiction . Drug addiction imposes biological, psychological, and social problems, and incurs profound harms to the health of the society .
The global problem of addiction and drug abuse causes 5 million deaths and about 42 million new cases of AIDS each year . Iran suffers from pervasive drug use for certain reasons . According to the Deputy for Prevention of the Welfare Organization, drug addiction grows at a rate of 8% per year in Iran, while population growth is 2.6% . Iran has about 1,200,000 addicted people and 800,000 recreational drug users . Drug abuse is followed by loss of life and property, social consequences such as economic costs, death, suicide, heavy offenses, unsuccessful marriages and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis . As the findings of extensive population-based studies on drug users show, the relatively high prevalence of drug use and changes in the trend of drug use (using impure drugs) increases the drug-induced mortality .
Today, addiction treatment centre use conventional techniques of brief interventions such as training programs of anger management, increasing incentive to reduce drug use, reduced drug dependence and cognitive behaviour therapy and prevention of lapse .
Studies show that a variety of factors affect drug use including social factors (such as the influence of friends, acquaintances or family members, influence of media and advertisement for drug and cigarette use, and lack of resistance to peer pressure) and interpersonal factors (such as low self-esteem, excessive anxiety, frustration, low self-control and sensation-seeking) . Social and cultural factors of tendency for drugs include cultural–social domain (including the availability of drugs and non-scientific advertisement of beauty products and athletic supplements), family domain (presence of a drug addict in the family, parent-adolescent relations, parental control variables), peers and friends domain, adolescent’s personality domain, emotional functioning, and social attachment . In a study on addicted people, the most common causes of tendency for drug use were factors such as addicted friends, unemployment, lack of attention to religious tendencies, economic problems, marital discord, lack of recreational facilities, availability of drugs, failure to say no to others’ demands .
Although studies have been conducted on the causes of tendency for drug use, all effective factors have not been identified and further studies are needed in this area. Given that factors effective on the tendency for drug use vary in different societies and these factors have been greatly influenced by the cultural, social and structural factors related to the setting of the studies, this study was performed to investigate factors affecting tendency for drug abuse in people attending an addiction treatment centre in Shahin Shahr city, Iran.
This quantitative content analysis study was conducted on 32 people attending an addiction treatment centre in Shahin Shahr city, Iran in 2014. Purposive sampling was used to select 29 men and 3 women for the study. Data were collected through personal interviews, each about 15 to 20 minutes. Then data were recorded on paper and to ensure the accuracy of transcripts, they were reviewed by participants for several times. The causes of addiction were recorded exactly and word for word. Then the relevant texts on the factors of tendency for drug abuse were extracted and all integrated into a single text which formed the unit of analysis. Then the text was reviewed through dividing into each interview as a single unit of analysis and semantic units were summarized. The summarized semantic units were coded and multiple codes were compared with each other based on the differences and similarities, and eventually were divided into 4 categories and 15 subcategories. Findings were reported based on the frequency of codes and developed categories.
The mean age of addicted participants was 37 years. Most participants reported that they began drug use when they were between 20 and 24 years. In terms of literacy, 9% of participants had associate degree, 56.2% had high school diploma, 34.3% were high school dropouts. In terms of occupation, 71.8% were self-employed, 6.2% had public jobs, 3.1% were unemployed, 12.5% retired and 9.3% were housewives. Opium was the most abused drug among participants. Four main themes were obtained by data analysis: 1: family factors (a drug user in the family, loneliness and separation from family, family problems and disputes), 2: social factors (having a hard job, unemployment, lack of recreation, convenient access to drugs), (3: environmental factors (friendly gatherings, communicating with drug users), individual factors (attracting the opposite sex, wealth, being athlete, youth ignorance, sickness, curiosity and receiving energy) (Table 1).
|Meaning Units||Subcategory (Frequency)||Category (Frequency)|
|At Thursday nights’ gatherings with my friends, I smoked a little for the first time as they suggested. During the first few months it was just for fun, but I gradually it became permanent.||Friendly gatherings ||Environmental factors |
|I communicated with drug users who asked me to use it as well, and I began using drugs.||Communicating with drug users |
|At age 18, seeing my father and uncle using drugs, and that the atmosphere of home was very friendly at that night, I liked the intimate atmosphere. So out of curiosity for that substance that created that intimacy, I stole some drugs and began using them with my friends.||A drug user in the family ||Family factors |
|As a student away from family, I began using drug at friendly gatherings.||Loneliness and separation from family |
|At age 18, having a lot of family problems, and an angry father who was very violent, I began using drug to relax my mind for the first time as my cousin, a drug user, suggested.||Family problems and disputes |
|Since I had relations with women, I began using drugs to attract them more and increase my energy and eloquence.||Attracting the opposite sex ||Individual factors |
|At age 20, having access to lots of money and communicating with rich people who were drug users, I began using drug.||Wealth |
|Being suggested to use drugs to win in competitions, I did so for the first time and won, and then I continued using drugs.||Being athlete |
|Having drug users around me, I began using drugs out of curiosity and then for getting more energy and excitement.||Curiosity and receiving energy |
|Having bad friends and out of youth ignorance, I began using drugs.||Youth ignorance |
|Taking strong painkillers for my back pain, my husband, a drug user, gave me some drugs.||Sickness |
|Becoming tired and napping at work, my friends suggested me to use drugs to eliminate sleepiness. It worked, so I continued using drugs.||Having a hard job ||Social factors |
|Being unemployed, a relative of mine suggested using drugs and I did so.||Unemployment |
|Under psychological pressure, with no recreation in the country, I began using drugs.||Lack of recreation |
|Spending the military service in Sistan-Baluchestan Province with abundant drugs there, I began using drugs to be lively, euphoric and happy.||Convenient access to drugs |
Table 1: The themes from quantitative content analysis of factors affecting tendency for drug abuse.
The findings showed that among factors affecting the tendency for drugs, environmental factors, family factors, individual factors, and social factors explained 38%, 28.5%, 22.2% and 11.1% of the reason for tendency for drug abuse, respectively. So the role of environmental factors including communicating with drug users and choosing bad friends is highlighted in the tendency for drug use, then family problems and a drug user in the family (father, brother, etc.) were mentioned by the addicts as the factors causing tendency for drug use. According to a number of participants, other reasons of using drugs were individual factors and personality traits such as greed, emotional deficiencies, and low self-confidence. According to some addicts, other reasons for drug use were social factors such as having hard jobs, lack of proper recreation, unemployment and easy access to drugs. Finally, among the factors mentioned, “friendly gatherings” with a frequency of 18 times was introduced as the most important factor in tendency for drug use.
To achieve the objective of this study, that is, to determine factors affecting tendency for drug abuse in people attending an addiction treatment centre, the results showed that the role of friends and associates, family, and the person himself is very important in tendency for drug use, so accordingly the most frequent causes of tendency for drug use were friends, people around and having family problems, personal characteristics and also social factors. The study of Meymandi et al. also suggests that communication and cooperation with peers is one of the most important factors in tendency for drug abuse among students . It seems some factors that can help avoid addiction include: parents’ proper planning for their children’s recreation and teaching them how to select a good friend, also life skills training with an approach to increase self-confidence and self-esteem in schools, universities and military sites for young boys.
The results of this study showed that unhealthy recreations with friends and also communicating with drug users have a significant relationship with tendency for drug abuse. The study results of Hajjarian et al. showed that 85% of addicted people believed that friends and acquaintances caused their addiction, 60% believed that the recreational use of drugs can lead to addiction, 75% believed that life problems were the reasons for their drug use which is consistent with the results of this study . It is worth noting that strengthening the spiritual dimensions and benefiting from religious teachings will play an important role in reducing drug abuse. It is necessary that parents and school authorities pay special attention to the psychological needs of the youth. If male and female students are formally trained on preventing addiction and its harms before entering high school, their tendency for addiction will reduce. The present study revealed that a drug user in the family is an important factor for tendency for drug use, which is consistent with the results of Molavi and Baghianimoghadam [15,16]. Also we found that family problems, emotional deficiencies among family members led to tendency for drugs, which is consistent with the results of Ramezani et al. . Consolidating the family foundation and nurturing children with logical love prevents the youth being in unhealthy environments, so it is suggested that parents spend more time with their children.
The results suggest that there is a significant relationship between unemployment, separation from family and tendency for drugs. Also Ahmadi et al. reported unemployment and separation from family as the most prevalent reasons for tendency for drug abuse . Another study showed that nearly 60% of addiction cases began with a friends’ suggestion. For students who spend most of their time in dormitories with their friends, peer pressure is at its highest rate. Their findings are consistent with the results of the present study .
In addition, the results showed that there is a significant relationship between sickness and physical pain relief and tendency for addiction, which is consistent with the results of Modabbernia et al. . So, physicians are recommended to advise their patients not to use drugs to relieve pain and treat diseases. The results showed that there is also a significant relationship between hard and heavy job, and tendency for drugs. However, Baghianimoghadam and Camran did not pay much attention to this variable [16,19].
Evidence suggests that anxious attachment style is a risk factor for addicts and they need psychopathology assessment . A study suggested that the relationship between genetic background and clinical behaviour is a risk factor for drug abuse and addiction. Trescot et al. showed that genetics and tendency toward drugs have a significant relationship, and genetic tests may predict the tendency toward drugs .
Drug use has been dramatically increased for patients with chronic pain and there is a concern about potential drug abuse and addiction on long-term treatment . Bears et al. found that religious activities, high support and better parent-child relationship are protective factors for tendency for drug use in both American and Australian students . One limitation of this study was failure to record interviews due to the lack of participants’ cooperation.
The findings of this study showed that the most prevalent factors for tendency for drug abuse among addicts of Shahin Shahr were environmental and familial factors, and then individual and social factors. To prevent development of tendency for drugs, researchers recommend that preventive measures be taken for drug addiction in community and families through more training in families, schools, universities and social environments where the audience is easily accessible such as garrisons and student dormitories etc. to decrease tendency for drug abuse in Iran.
Hereby, we greatly appreciate the cooperation and assistance provided by all participants in this research and clinic staff in Shahin Shahr city, Iran.
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