Perception of Social Support and Drug Use

Monday, July 11, 2011

Margarita Antonia Villar Luis, PhD
Escola de Enfermagem de Ribeirão Preto - Departamento de Enfermagem Psiquiátrica e Ciências Humanas, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
Jacqueline de Souza, PhD
Escola de enfermagem de Ribeirão Preto - departamento de Enfermagem Psiquiátrica e Ciências Humanas, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil

Learning Objective 1: to know the differences between drug addicts and non-dependent drug in perception of social support

Learning Objective 2: to know a research using the Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ) with drug addicts

Purpose: The World Health Organization, regarding mental health, prescribes that persons with mental disorders should be treated as social beings so that they can be reintegrated into the community; the Brazilian Ministry of Health, in its turn, prescribes integral attention to users of alcohol and of other drugs, prioritizing primary attention, health education, the guarantee of attention in the community and the involvement of social networks. Recent studies highlight the importance of the network’s approach and social support in this area as a possibility to rethink and propose new perspectives for the enhancement of the research and practice of mental health focusing on psychoactive substance-dependent individuals. Therefore this study aimed to analyze the difference between drug addicts and non-dependent drug concerning their perception of support, by means of a validated social support assessment instrument, and to identify possible specificities of these individuals’ support networks. 

Methods:  The referential methodological theoretical model adopted is that of social support in the Buffering Model perspective, and the Social Network Analysis (SNA). The sample of subjects was composed of individuals served by the Alcohol and Drugs Psychosocial Attention Center (CAPSad, in Portuguese) and by a District Basic Health Unit (UBDS, in Portuguese) in the city of Ribeirão Preto-Brazil, adding up to 102 individuals, of which 50 are drug addicts and 52 are non-dependent drug.

Results: the sample was homogeneous in what concerns low socioeconomic conditions and the score related to the number of supporters.

Conclusion: However, in what concerns the social support satisfaction score, drug addicts were less satisfied with the social support available than the non-dependent drug (a statistically significant difference). Nevertheless, drug addicts were shown to have networks that were more diversified whereas non-dependent drug individuals’ networks were more densely centered on their family circles.