Substance abuse is regarded as a principle issue in the world which causes numerous devastating challenges for family members of the abuser. This study explores how family head addiction affects women’s and children’s lives.
Materials and Methods: This is a qualitative content analysis study that was conducted in 2018 in Gorgan city, Iran. Using a qualitative study design and purposive sampling, 36 participants (11 children including 5 boys and 6 girls who had substance-dependent fathers, 15 women whose husbands were involved in substance abuse, 10 service and healthcare providers) were subjected to a semi structured, in-depth individual interview. A conventional content analysis approach using the Granheim method was employed to analyze the data.
Results: Results are divided into four main categories: 1) Psychological and physical disadvantages included three subcategories of family psychological breakdown, Family deprivation in terms of emotional, physical health concern, 2) Social isolators consisted of three subcategories of disadvantaged social status, family violating norms, and addiction as a family phenomenon, 3) Disrupted family included three subcategories of decline in sex, Rule of doubt in the family and marital conflicts, and 4) Economic constraint consisted of the family deprivation financially and addiction in contrast to welfare.
Given that children and women in these families have problems in various aspects, our results emphasize the importance of comprehensive interventions by therapists, healthcare providers, to maximize behavioral adaptation in children and women that live with family head substance abuser.