The roles and experiences of family members who care for a person with substance or opioid use disorder

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2 Scopus citations


Background: Substance/opioid use disorder (SUD/OUD) not only affects the person with SUD/OUD, but the entire family. Family members (FMs) who provide care to a person with SUD/OUD attempt to live with the addiction/recovery process while navigating a fractured healthcare/treatment system. The purpose of this article is to describe multiple roles and experiences of FMs. Methods: A Qualtrics survey was developed to examine FMs’ experiences and resource utilization for a person with SUD/OUD. Survey questions included open- and closed-ended questions focused on concepts related to FM status, treatment, recovery, care of minors, information/media sources accessed, and other services needed. After IRB approval participants were recruited using a convenience sample and a survey link were emailed to geographically dispersed university colleagues and community stakeholders. Results: Authenticated surveys (n = 187) and demographic questionnaires were completed. A majority of the FMs were siblings or partners. FMs reported on experiencing stigma; identifying, securing, and funding treatment; seeking education/training on Naloxone; caring for the person’s minor child(ren); and accessing self-care resources. Conclusions: This study builds on prior research describing the lived of experiences of FMs and the unique needs of this population. Additional research is needed to develop resources that are easily accessible and readily available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-750
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Substance Use
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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