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Individual, Family, and Contextual Factors Associated with Relapse among Afghan Drug Treatment Clients

Dr. Abdul Rastin, Dr. Thulitha Wickrama, Dr. Michael J. Merten


The present study explored the family, peer, social, employment, and physiological associations with relapse of clients at treatment centers. A drug treatment center in Balkh, Afghanistan, was studied using a purposive sample of 15 in-depth qualitative interviews. The findings pointed to social pressure, stress coping, accessibility, and social acceptance as reasons behind the use and relapse of clients. The themes within these larger categories involved family factors, work factors, social exposure, collective decision-making, and social reasons as significantly affecting relapse. Individuals used substances to cope with grief, stress at home and work, marriage and family relationships, and to perform work tasks. Practical implications of study findings include the emphasis on multilevel intervention strategies.

Keywords: Afghanistan, Family, Drug Treatment, Relapse, Interventions


American Psychological Associations (APA).


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