Experiences of Drug Dependent Fathers in Relation with Their Children: A Qualitative Study

Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences, School of Human Sciences, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran.

2 Psychiatrist, Neuroscience Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

3 Associate Professor, Neuroscience Research Center, Department of Community Medicine, School of Afzallipour Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.


Background: The effects of substance abusing on children of all ages has been considered. The major problem of these children is the inability of their parents to implement their parental tasks and duties. In Iran, addressing the issue of substance abuse has a history of several decades. Identifying the experiences of these individuals about relating to their children is important in effective therapeutic planning to help drug dependent people continue their treatment.Methods: This qualitative study was conducted using phenomenological approach. Subjects were selected from among the referrals to the substance abuse treatment centers in Kerman. This study lasted for 11 months from October 2008 to August 2009 and tried to use purposive sampling to select the subjects with as much diversity as possible from the drug-dependent males who had at least one child. All those who had history of addiction less than two years were excluded. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the findings.Findings: Participants were 35 opiate-dependent males. The mean age of subjects was 43.18 ± 8.25. Five themes were extracted from analyzing the interviews including emotional relations, economical problems, experiences of communicating with children, the effects of substance abuse on children, and the role of children on the quitting process.Conclusion: To promote the quality of services offered to drug-dependents who have decided to quit, family therapy and psychotherapy are recommended to help addicted individuals reduce the problems they have with their children.Keywords: Drug dependence, Children, Qualitative study.