An Investigation of Quitting and Relapse Cycles in Long-Term Methamphetamine Use
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIntroduction: Methamphetamine addiction cycles through phases of quitting and relapse generally proceeded by "turning points," significant life events in users' lives. This study examines turning points in the lives of rural women who use methamphetamine. Methods: 45 qualitative drug history interviews with female methamphetamine users (pulled from parent study) were analyzed for emergent themes of turning points associated with either quitting or relapse. Results: Analyses revealed 5 distinct emergent themes: relationships (subthemes of family, friends, and domestic partners), health (subthemes of pregnancy, withdrawal symptoms, and stress), treatment, department of corrections (DOC), and lifestyle. Relationships, health, and lifestyle stood as dynamic themes initiating either quitting or relapse; treatment and DOC were associated solely with quit attempts from methamphetamine. Conclusions: Strong patterns emerged of women becoming clean during pregnancy and for significant chunks of time after giving birth, with relapse reasons generally unclear but closely tied to current relationships and stress. Changing friend groups strongly influenced changing addiction behavior. DOC was shown to initiate quitting but was not shown to maintain long term quitting behavior. Limitations include generalizability of the data given demographic homogeneity of the interview sample. Future studies would focus on specific histories of cyclical addiction and turning points.
Degree ProgramHonors College