Substance Use and the Role of Families. Results of a Cross-Country Study in Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine
In many countries families have rarely been involved in addressing treatment and interventions for family members with substance use disorders (SUDs). The aims of this study were to measure the influence of substance use on users’ family members and to evaluate what and if any interventions were conducted by and with family members in the three countries of Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and Ukraine.
A convenience sample approach was used to identify the involvement of families in the treatment and recovery process of a subject using substances and to provide country specific data from Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.
The survey yielded 2174 respondents from the three countries, including 1099 responses from relatives of a subject who used or uses substances and 1075 from subjects who use or used psychoactive substances. In total, 47% of the relatives indicated that they did not receive treatment interventions and 87% believed that treatment could be an effective option to address the use of substances.
A significant majority of the relatives in Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine did not receive any therapeutic or other support while living with a subject with an SUD. Unsurprisingly, family members often regarded the best way to treat SUDs as being to isolate the subject. However, in all three countries most of the subjects with experience of substance use identified the family as the main factor that could prevent them from using substances.