Mistrust and self-isolation: barriers to social support for older adult methadone clients

SMITH Mary Lindsey, ROSEN Daniel
Journal article citation:
Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 52(7), October 2009, pp.653-667.
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

The purpose of this study is to explore barriers to the use, maintenance and expansion of social supports in older adult methadone clients. The data for this analysis were derived from a qualitative study of the needs of ageing methadone clients. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews with 24 methadone clients over the age of 50. A lack of trust was identified as a principal barrier to the use, maintenance and expansion of the social supports of older adult methadone clients. Causes of this mistrust include issues associated with ageing, past traumatic experiences and difficult personal relationships. Because of this, some clients keep to themselves by choosing to self-isolate and decline to use, foster or engage in healthy social relationships, which are a key component of substance abuse treatment and abstinence maintenance.

Subject terms:
interpersonal relationships, social isolation, loneliness, older people, social networks, traumas, drug misuse;
Content type:
United States
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