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Addict Behav. 2003 Jan-Feb;28(1):157-69.

Qualitative analysis of high-risk drug and alcohol use situations among severely mentally ill substance abusers.

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  • 1Research Institute on Addictions, 1021 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203-1016, USA.


Situational factors have been found to influence relapse to alcohol and drug use in general samples of substance abusers. However, little research exists examining the influence of interpersonal and intrapersonal determinants in samples of individuals dually diagnosed with a severe mental illness (SMI) and a substance use disorder (SUD). This study assessed high-risk alcohol and drug use situations in dually diagnosed individuals using focus group methodology. Qualitative data analysis yielded 10 themes that encompassed 33 high-risk situations: Psychological symptoms, positive and negative affect, reminders of substance use, being around people who use drugs and alcohol, interpersonal conflict, offers of drugs or alcohol, experiencing loss, receiving money, loss of appetite, and being abstinent. These results suggest that individuals with an SMI and SUD experience a number of unique high-risk situations that differ from those reported by non-SMI substance abusers. This study provides the basis for future quantitative studies assessing the prevalence of these situations in representative samples of SMI alcohol and drug abusers. This information allows for the development of relapse assessment instruments and treatment strategies appropriate for this population.

Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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