Experience of recovery for female heroin addicts: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Watson, Laura and Parke, Adrian (2011) Experience of recovery for female heroin addicts: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction, 9 (1). pp. 102-117. ISSN 1557-1874

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11469-009-9257-6

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In addiction research it is imperative to explore, not only motivations that
precipitate drug use and abuse, but also the changes which take place in the social
environment that enable individuals suffering from an addictive disorder to ‘break the
cycle’ and reach a position of recovery. Therefore the main aims of the study were to
explore the idiosyncratic experiences of female heroin addicts. Five female participants
were recruited. Open ended, semi-structured interviews were performed; their narratives
were then analysed according to the principles of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
(IPA; Smith et al. 1999). Three recurrent super-ordinate themes were developed including:
childhood experiences, physiological and psychological effects and perceptions of recovery.
Our interpretation of the data suggests that the significant experiences of these women, as
children, included: damaged relationships, unreasonable responsibilities, anxiety and
victimisation. New relationships, new responsibilities and new opportunities appear to be
significant motives in relation to attempting to reduce drug consumption. These findings are
discussed in relation to the potential contributing factors for heroin addiction in women and
their transition to recovery.

Keywords:HEROIN, Recovery, Female
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:9842
Deposited On:13 Jun 2013 12:52

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