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The Relationship between Stress and Addiction

By Afsaneh Hassanbeigi, Jafar Askari, Dordaneh Hassanbeigi and Zahra Pourmovahed


AbstractObjectivesThe purpose of the present study was to determine the relationship between stress and addiction.Materials & MethodsA total of 150 male opium addicts randomly selected from different addiction treatment centers in addition to 150 normal subjects as control group participated in the present study. The control group was matched with the addict group for a ge, education, marital and socioeconomic status. The instruments used included Paykel Scale of Stressful Life Events for assessing the rate of life stressors and Cope Inventory for assessing the methods of coping. The data were analyzed using Mann-Whitney Test.ResultsThe findings of the study showed that first, over a two-year period before beginning substance use, the occurrence rate of various psychosocial stressors in opium addict patients was statistically higher than normal subjects in the last two-year period (P<.0001). Second, in comparison to normal subjects, the opium addict patients made significantly less use of Problem- Focused Coping Methods including active coping, planning, suppression of competing activities, restraint coping and seeking of instrumental social support (P<.01), while they made significantly more use of Less Useful Coping Strategies including focus on and venting of emotions, behavioral disengagement and mental disengagement (P<.0001). In regarding to the use of Emotion- Focused Coping Methods including seeking of emotional social support, positive reinterpretation, acceptance, denial and turning to religion although, the drug addicts’ scores were higher than those of normal subjects, it wasn’t statistically significant.ConclusionIt seems that more stressful life events and more ineffective coping strategies in opium addicts may play a considerable role in their development of drug abuse or turning to relapse. Thus, to prevent the occurrence of severe stress and self treatment trough drug abuse, it's advisable to teach some skills such as stress prevention, alteration and toleration strategies to the at-risk groups

Publisher: The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.06.752
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