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Parenthood and opioid dependence

Authors Pihkala H, Sandlund M

Received 14 October 2014

Accepted for publication 18 December 2014

Published 10 February 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 33—40

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/SAR.S75796

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Li-Tzy Wu


Heljä Pihkala, Mikael Sandlund

Institution of Clinical Sciences/Psychiatry, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

Introduction: Many patients in maintenance treatment programs for opioid dependence are parents to underage children.
Objective: The aim of this study was to explore how parents who are regular patients in maintenance treatment perceive their parenthood.
Methods: The study used a qualitative approach. The informants were recruited by staff at a substance abuse clinic in Sweden. Criteria for inclusion were participation in the local maintenance treatment program, having a child or children younger than 18 years, and being in contact with the child or children. Data were collected in 2012–2013 by in-depth interviews of seven fathers and five mothers and analyzed using concepts and procedures of qualitative content analysis.
Results: The central findings of the study were: 1) the parents’ concerns about possible future discrimination against their children, ie, stigma by association; and 2) the patients’ own parents’ role as the most important support in parenthood.
Conclusion: The issue of anticipated discrimination against the children of parents undergoing maintenance treatment might be an aspect to consider in the development of interventions and support. Considering the role of the patients' own parents also seems important.

Keywords: parenthood, opiod dependence, maintenance treatment, qualitative analysis, anticipated stigma, stigma by association


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