Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-14

Substance use disorder and the family: An Indian perspective

1 Department of Psychiatry, Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Siddharth Sarkar
Department of Psychiatry, Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital, #7, Works Road, Chrompet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-2870.172413

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The substance use disorder not only impacts the patient himself/herself, but also affects family members. This is more relevant in a country like India where the familial ties are stronger with family members playing a significant role in the treatment process. This narrative review takes an overview of the inter-relationship between substance use disorder and the family. The domestic violence and adverse familial circumstances, both often arise as a consequence of substance use. Although the spouses of substance users experience greater rates of psychopathology and distress, children of patients with substance user disorders demonstrate higher levels of behavioral disturbances. Codependence often develops in the familial relationship, which perpetuates the substance use disorder. Substance use places quite a burden on the family, both psychologically as well as in terms of resources. Nonetheless, family members provide motivation, emotional support, and practical help during the treatment of substance use disorders and hence need to be engaged in the therapeutic process. Finally, the changing family structure and family dynamics in India might influence the in the future both the effect of substance use disorder on the family, and the familial resource available for treatment.

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