But researchers at Case Western Reserve University’s social work school found, for many women in poverty, it’s not so easy to drop the users in their lives. Many are people that women depend on for childcare, transportation and other necessities to live.
“People in the women’s networks might be family members, parents or children, who also use drugs. It’s hard to cut these people out of their lives,” said Elizabeth M. Tracy, MSW, PhD, who is the associate dean of research and Grace Longwell Coyle Professor of Social Work at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.
She contributed to the Qualitative Health Research article, “Personal Network Recovery Enablers and Relapse Risks for Women with Substance Dependence.” The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded the $1.1 million, four-year parent study at the Mandel School.
It was not so clear-cut for these women who had to juggle both users and non-users in their lives, said the study’s corresponding investigator Suzanne Brown, PhD, LMSW, assistant professor of social work at Wayne State University and Mandel School doctoral alumna.
“It might work in a population of people who have greater choices or resources to make geographic changes or are less dependent on other people for their basic needs,” Brown said.
Relationships in the network played a role in whether women used drugs or not.
Brown and Tracy and colleagues found that six months post-treatment intake, women were vulnerable for using again if they had substance abusers in their personal networks or lacked close supportive friends.
Source: Eurekalert.org – October 16, 2014