Study on substance use and the role of families in Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Ukraine
Families can play a critical role in influencing subjects with substance use disorder (SUD). There are a variety of evidence-based approaches that support and improve functioning of such families. Most of these approaches are not widely spread in low- and middle-income countries. The International Society of Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Professionals (ISSUP) and ISSUP Pakistan, ISSUP Kazakhstan and ISSUP Ukraine undertook a joint research project on 'Substance Use and the Role of Families'. The objectives of this study are to assess the involvement of families in the treatment and recovery process of the person using substances; and to measure the influence of substance use on the family. We used online-survey data method collection and created two surveys: Survey 1 was conducted among family members, Survey 2 – among users of psychoactive substances. The analysis of the data was performed by using TIBCO Statistica 13.4. The level of significance adopted was p < 0.05.
The analysis of the results (2174 Family members and 1099 Users) received from each of the countries revealed that 47% of the relatives of the subjects with SUD did not receive any treatment interventions. 77% of family members agreed that substance use negatively impacted them, and 87% believed that treatment can be an effective. Overall, 69% of family members replied that the best way to treat SUD was to isolate the user in the healthcare facility. 79% felt 'shame' because they have a family member using substances. In addition, 78% of users agreed that substance use negatively impacted the family unit.
Most relatives in the three countries did not receive any therapeutic or other type of support while living with the person with SUDs which influenced their treatment and recovery process. Several recommendations on the national, community and university level are detailed in the study for future implementation.