Why treatment is not an option: Treatment naïve individuals, suffering from alcohol use disorders' narratives about alcohol use and treatment seeking

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Abstrakt

Aims: To investigate the narratives of in- and outpatients at mental health and somatic hospitals, who suffer from alcohol use disorders (AUD) but have never sought AUD treatment. More specifically, to understand how the individuals view their alcohol use and explore their reasons for not seeking treatment. Methods: Individuals suffering from AUD were recruited at somatic and mental health hospitals. The study was qualitative, based on semi-structured individual interviews. A narrative analysis was performed. A total of six patients participated: three recruited at a mental health hospital, three from a somatic hospital. Results: The individuals described how heavy alcohol use had always characterised their lives; it was part of their surroundings and it added to their quality of life. Two narrative forms within the individuals’ stories were identified, in which treatment was considered either as a positive option for others but not relevant for themselves, or as representing a threat to the individuals’ autonomy. The participants expressed that they did not believe treatment was relevant for them, and if necessary, they preferred to deal with their heavy drinking themselves. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that a broad focus is needed if relatively more individuals suffering from AUD should seek treatment, since they – in spite of clearly suffering from AUD – nevertheless see themselves as heavy drinkers and have not even thought of seeking treatment. Thus, it is not (only) a question about the attractiveness of the treatment offer or due to lack of knowledge about treatment options that patients suffering from AUD do not seek treatment.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftNordisk Alkohol- & Narkotikatidskrift
ISSN1455-0725
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 22. apr. 2022

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