Relapse Experience in Iranian Opiate Users: a Qualitative Study

Document Type: Original article


1 Center for Nursing Care Research, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran


Background: To understand the relapse process, it is required to notice the clients learned behaviors and environmental contexts. We aimed to explore and describe relapse experiences of Iranian drug users.Methods: This is a grounded theory study and twenty two participants were selected using purposive sampling, snowball and theoretical sampling. After obtaining written informed consent, data gathering was done by means of in-depth semi-structured interviews. According to Strauss and Corbin three phases of open coding, axial coding and selection coding were done for qualitative analysis and continuous comparison. During the research period Guba and Lincoln criteria were used to be reassured of the accuracy and rigor of the study findings.Results: The main categories of this study were craving and conflict, family stress and psychological indicators of relapse that emerged in three phases including recovery, tension and pre-relapse. High anxiety, withdrawal, rationalization and lying were the most common symptoms. Conclusion: Family reactions and social conditions play a key role in relapse. Relapse process is an active and multidimensional event in which the clients experience a psychosocial status continuum from recovery to relapse. Most psychological problems are seen in the tension phase.