ERIC Number: ED365896
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Stress Levels of Recovering Drug Addicts.
LaMon, Brent C.; Alonzo, Anthony
It appears that chronic drug use may develop as a means of coping in which individuals use self-medication to produce a more desirable state of being. Because drugs are often used to cope with stress, this study examined stress among recovering male drug addicts (N=23) from an urban substance abuse program by administering a self-report inventory known as the Stress Audit. This inventory samples the magnitude and types of stresses experienced as well as a person's relative vulnerability to yield a stress profile with three summary scales: Situations, Symptoms, and Vulnerability. For the Situations scale, the mean for drug addicts showed a significant elevation relative to the standardization sample (N=1,450) and a local control group (N=20) of non-addicted, non-alcoholic males. All situations subscale means (Family, Individual Roles, Social Being, Environment, Financial, and Work/School) were significantly higher for the drug addicts with the Family, Individual Roles, and Financial subscales yielding the highest values. The Symptoms Summary scale group mean as well as the means for all seven Symptoms subscales (Muscular, Parasympathetic Nervous System, Sympathetic Nervous System, Emotional, Cognitive, Endocrine, and Immune) were also significantly higher for drug addicts, with the highest subscale means obtained for cognitive and muscular symptoms. In contrast to stress situations and symptoms, the Vulnerability scale was the only measure for which recovering addicts had a mean similar to established norms with no significant elevation. This profile of substantially greater stress situations and symptoms despite normal vulnerability indicates that, whether stress is a cause or consequence of drug addiction, stress management techniques should be an important component of drug rehabilitation programs. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: St. Mary's Coll. of California, Moraga.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association (72nd, Portland, OR, April 30-May 3, 1992).