Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 12, 1178221817752678
eCollection

Why Do Those With Long-Term Substance Use Disorders Stop Abusing Substances? A Qualitative Study

Affiliations

Why Do Those With Long-Term Substance Use Disorders Stop Abusing Substances? A Qualitative Study

Henning Pettersen et al. Subst Abuse.

Abstract

Although a significant proportion of adults recover from substance use disorders (SUDs), little is known about how they reach this turning point or why they stop using. The purpose of the study was to explore the factors that influence reasoning and decision making about quitting substance use after a long-term SUD. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 18 participants, each of whom had been diagnosed with a SUD and had been abstinent for at least 5 years. A resource group of peer consultants in long-term recovery from SUDs contributed to the study's planning, preparation, and initial analyses. Participants recalled harmful consequences and significant events during their years of substance use. Pressure and concern from close family members were important in their initial efforts to abstain from substance use. Being able to imagine a different life, and the awareness of existing treatment options, promoted hope and further reinforced their motivation to quit. Greater focus on why those with SUDs want to quit may help direct treatment matching; treatment completion may be more likely if the person's reasons for seeking help are addressed.

Keywords: Substance use disorder; collaborative research; qualitative study; reasons to quit substance use.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of conflicting interests:The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 7 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). Trends and statistics, 2016. https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics. Accessed December 4, 2016.
    1. Barry CL, McGinty EE, Pescosolido BA, Goldman HH. Stigma, discrimination, treatment effectiveness, and policy: public views about drug addiction and mental illness. Psychiatr Serv. 2014;65:1269–1272. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Parcespe AM, Cabassa LJ. Public stigma of mental illness in the United States: a systematic literature review. Adm Policy Ment Health. 2013;40:384–399. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Schoolar JC, White EH, Cohen CP. Drug abusers and their clinic-patient counterparts: a comparison of personality dimensions. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1972;39:9–14. - PubMed
    1. Richards HJ, Pai SM. Deception in prison assessment of substance abuse. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2003;24:121–128. - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback