Background: The effects of substance abuse frequently extend beyond the nuclear family. Extended family members may experience feelings of abandonment, anxiety, fear, anger, concern, embarrassment, or guilt; they may wish to ignore or cut ties with the person abusing substance. The aim of this study was to compare the mental health status on families with and without substance abusers.
Method: This cross sectional study was conducted among 114 family’s members with substance abusers (case group) and 114 without substance abusers (control group) in Hamadan city in Iran, from October to December 2016. Data collection tools included demographic and SCL-90-R questionnaires. Data were analyzed by t- test using SPSS software version 16. The significance level was considered less than 0.05.
Results: The Mean age of participants in the case and control groups was 33±4.7 and 35±5.2 years. There was a significant difference in the mean of subscales included somatization, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety and phobia in the families with and without substance abusers (p< 0.001). In other words, the mental health status of family members with a substance abuser were lower than in the control group. Overall 29.4% of family's members with substance abusers and 16% of without substance abusers were suspected to have mental disorders.
Conclusion: Substance abuse is a disorder that can impact families in countless ways. Therefore, it is recommended that more attention be given to this group in planning of mental health and should be screened by health professional in term of psychological needs and planning to promotion their mental health.