Depression, anxiety, and stress from substance-use disorder among family members in Iceland

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Abstract

Aims:
This research was designed to explore the extent to which the use of alcohol or drugs by one member of a family affects the psychosocial state of other family members. The study asks whether family members of substance abusers are more likely to report increased depression, anxiety and stress then the general population in Iceland? Are there significant differences between family members; e.g., spouses, parents, adult children and siblings by gender, age, education and income?
Data and methods:
The instrument used for this purpose is the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS), which is designed to measure those three related mental states. It was administered to 143 participants (111 women and 32 men) with ages ranging from 19–70 years on the first day of a four-week group therapy programme for relatives of substance use disorder (SUD) at The Icelandic National Centre for Addiction Treatment (SÁÁ) from August 2015 to April 2016. Thirty participants are adult children of a parent with SUD, 47 are a spouse, 56 are parents of a child with SUD and 10 are siblings. The subscales of the DASS for depression, anxiety, and stress were utilised to examine which family member – parent, child, partner, or sibling – presented the behaviour associated with SUD.
Results:
36% or more of the respondents in all three subscales had average, serious, or very serious depression, anxiety, and/or stress. This is higher than in DASS studies of the general population in Iceland. However, the analysis indicates that it made little difference to the family’s wellbeing which family member was affected by SUD.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNAD Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Volume35
Issue number3
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)165-178
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed