• Sameera Shafiq Department of Psychology, University of Gujrat
  • Jamila Fatima Department of Psychology, University of Gujrat, Pakistan



The objectives of the present study are two folds, 1) to explore the lived experinces of the patients diagnosed with substance use disorders and 2) to investigate levels of psychological distress experienced along with the perceived quality of life and coping startegies used by them. Phenomenological mixed methods approach was applied with two phases and the study was carried out during 1st January to 30th July, 2022. In Phase I, we used qualitative approach of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).  Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 6 experts (psychiatrists and clinical psychologists) and 6 patients diagnosed with substance use disorders. The recordings were transcribed and analyzed for themes of lived experinces (Smith et al., 2009) as experienced by the patients and perceived by the experts (Psychiatrists and Clinical Psychologists/Psychologists) treating while probing their experiences. The findings of IPA yielded main factors that influence people to indulge in substance use disorder are  peer pressure, family influence, stigma, sexual satisfaction , loneliness, social and cultural contextual factors, and experimentation. In Phase II, we used quantitative approach of cross-sectional design. 200 patients were selected by purposive sampling technique from Shaheed Naveed Rehabilitation Clinic, Pathan Wali, Wazirabad, Punjab. They were screened with Urdu version of Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST-10, Skinner, 1982; Yudko, Lozhkina, Fouts, 2007). To measure psychological distress, Urdu version (Farooqi, & Habib, 2010) of Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale (Dass-21, Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995) was used. To measure quality of life and coping strategies, Urdu versions of WHOQOL-BREF (Lodhi, Raza, Montazeri, Nedjat, Yaseri, & Holakouie-Naieni, 2017) and Copying Scale (Hamby, Grych, & Banyard, 2013) were used with patients diagnosed with substance use disorders. The results showed that patients experienced moderate levels of depression (M=17.26, SD=4.71) and anxiety (M=14.10, SD=4.58) and mild level of stress (M=17.32, SD=4.56). The score on coping scale indicated low level (M= 35.0, SD= 7.48) of coping strategies used for appraisal and behaviorally dealing with their issues around drug addiction. Conclusively, the lived experinces of the drug addicts centralized around socio-cultural influences of perceived stigmatization and imbalanced family-peer interactions that arose sensual and curiosity for experimentation with the drugs. They perceived their life to be of average quality and exhibited low coping skills, thus suffered with moderate level of depression and anxiety even in their full remission for substance use disorder in rehabilitation centres.  The implications are discussed in the light of the fidnings of the present research.

Keywords: Anxiety, Coping, Depression, Drug Addiction, Quality of Life, Stress.

Author Biographies

Sameera Shafiq, Department of Psychology, University of Gujrat

Lecturer and PhD Scholar





Jamila Fatima, Department of Psychology, University of Gujrat, Pakistan




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