Perceived Reasons for Substance Misuse Among Persons With a Psychiatric Disorder

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The etiology of substance use among persons with severe mental illness remains unclear. This study investigates stated reasons for substance use among persons in recovery from co-occurring disorders of serious mental illness and substance abuse and dependence. The desire to fit in with peers played a key role in the initiation of substance use; boredom, loneliness, temptations to use, and stress were cited most as relapse triggers. The authors discuss the need for dually diagnosed persons to develop sobriety-supporting peer networks to help them learn adaptive strategies to deal with the stress of recovery; further, treatment programs should instill hope for recovery and provide opportunities for meaningful activities and relationships.

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