Family Factors and Peer Influence in Drug Abuse: A Study in Rehabilitation Centre

Background: Drugs have been around for ages and it comes in many different forms throughout its existence. With changes in the forms of drugs, technology and other environmental dynamics over time, underlying mechanisms causing drug abuse could have evolved too. Therefore, there is a need to relook into the causal factors for people to abuse drugs. To the authors’ knowledge, there is little if not no in-depth study (interview) conducted in this topic in Malaysia.

Aims and Objectives: Therefore, the authors sought to study in-depth how different factors have affected people’s drug abuse in Malaysia. This paper aimed to study the significance of peer influence, family issues, unemployment, curiosity, tension release, and other personal problems in drug abuse at contemporary time.

Methodology: The study design of interview and semi-structured questionnaires were used. Seven participants from a rehabilitation centre were recruited and interviewed individually.

Results: This study revealed that family factors (such as family economic standing) and peer influence played an important role in an individual’s drug abuse habits. Other factors such as curiosity, tension release and betrayal of spouse also contributed to participant’s drug abuse. The study also found that a person’s drug abuse is usually caused by a combination of several factors instead of just one sole factor. Conclusion: As combinations of causal factors for each individual’s drug abuse are different, individualized intervention was proposed for drug abusers to maximize end results.

Author(s): Yie-Chu Foo, Cai-Lian Tam, Teck-Heang Lee

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