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  2. “I can’t live like that”: the experience of caregiver stress of caring for a relative with substance use disorder

“I can’t live like that”: the experience of caregiver stress of caring for a relative with substance use disorder

Background: The impact of addiction extends beyond the individual using a substance. Caring for an individual with addiction creates persistent stressful circumstances that cause worry, anger, depression, shame, guilt, anxiety, and behavioral problems within the family unit. The aim of the study: The paper aims to explore the experiences of caring for a relative with a substance use disorder (SUD) and self-care strategies caregivers employ. Methods: The study adopted an exploratory qualitative design. To be included in the study, participants were required to have a relative with a (SUD) disorder and not be actively using the substance themselves. Individual interviews were conducted to gather their experiences, meanings, and how they made sense of caring for a relative with a SUD. Results: Twenty one participants were involved in the study, of which 17 were women, and four were men of which there had a sister, four had a brother, eight had a parent, six had a dependent, and one participant had a grandparent with a SUD. Four themes, whose overarching focus is the pains of living and caring for a family with a SUD, caused the participants and how the participants mitigated these experiences. Conclusion: The stress associated with caring for individuals with a SUD impacts the caregiver’s physical and mental health. Specific care modalities targeting caregivers need to be developed to address the health impact and to support self-care.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Type of Work
Journal article
Publisher
Springer
Publication Year
2021
Issue Number
11
Journal Titles
Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention and Policy
Volume Number
16
Start Page
3136