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J Soc Work Pract Addict. 2010 Jul;10(3):257-282.

Social Support: A Mixed Blessing for Women in Substance Abuse Treatment.

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  • 1Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA.


Using a personal social network framework, this qualitative study sought to understand how women in substance abuse treatment describe their network members' supportive and unsupportive behaviors related to recovery. Eighty-six women were interviewed from residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment programs. Positive and negative aspects of women's social networks were assessed via open-ended questions. Analysis was guided by grounded theory techniques using three coders. The findings extend classic social support concepts such as emotional, tangible, and informational support. Practice implications are presented in light of the potential roles network members may play in substance use and recovery.

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