Family members lived experience with an opioid addicted loved one

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7 Scopus citations


Background: The opioid epidemic is complex problem. In order to provide a comprehensive intervention plan, understanding all stakeholders’ perspectives is essential. Stakeholders in this epidemic include the individual with substance use disorder (SUD), family and friends who care for the person with SUD, the community, the state, and the nation; however, there is limited research that explains the lived experience of individuals with SUD and their families and friends. Objectives: The purpose of the study is to understand the family members (FMs) lived experience with an individual with SUD. Methods: Using an interpretative phenomenological method of inquiry, a semi-structured interview guide was used. Eight participants (n = 8; i.e., mothers, a father, a wife, a grandmother, and an aunt) who care for a person with a SUD were interviewed. During the time of the interview, the persons with the SUD were in the following stages of the SUD trajectory: recovery (n = 4), active addiction (n = 1), and died from an overdose (n = 3). Interviews ranged from 60 to 90 minutes were conducted in a quiet, private location chosen by the participant. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and deidentified. Transcripts were uploaded to NVIVO, secure qualitative data storage software. Results: Analysis revealed four themes of the FMs lived experience with an individual with SUD: (1) confirming the addiction, (2) living with addiction, (3) sorting out addiction, and (4) reflecting on addiction. Findings will provide evidence to support comprehensive interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-481
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 18 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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