The Role of Sexual Behaviors in the Relapse Process in Iranian Methamphetamine Users: A Qualitative Study

Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 PhD Student, Department of Counseling AND Substance Abuse and Dependence Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Counseling, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Professor, Department of Counseling, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Substance Abuse and Dependence Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran

6 Assistant Professor, Department of Counseling, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: The awareness of sexual experiences could be an effective factor in preventing high-risk sexual behavior pertaining to relapse during the recovery period of substances. This research explored the role of sexual behaviors among Iranian methamphetamine (MA) users in relapse process.Methods: The study was conducted with a qualitative approach using content analysis method. 28 participants were selected through purposeful and theoretical sampling. Data were collected based on face-to-face, in-depth, semi-structured interviews based on open-ended questions. Interviews continued until the data saturation had occurred. All interviews were examined in four stages of codes, sub-categories, categories and themes according to the content analysis of explanations and descriptions of sexual behaviors.Findings: Two main themes were emerged from the analysis of interviews, including extreme pleasure seeking (including the main categories of sexual tunnel vision and sexual totalitarianism) and comprehended threat (including the main categories of internal conflict and external disorganization) as well as 10 subcategories.Conclusion: The results indicated that sexual behaviors played an important role in relapse process among Iranian MA users and needed to be considered and managed properly in the planning of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.


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