AN EXPLORATION OF INDIVIDUALS IN RECOVERY FOR SUBSTANCE-USE DISORDER AND THEIR EXPERIENCES OF ENGAGING IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SERVICES
Background: Figures from 2019 revealed that Scotland has by far the most drug-related deaths per capita than any other European country. 1264 people died from reported drug misuse in Scotland in 2019, which is a 6% increase from the year prior and three times higher than it was a decade ago. The literature reveals that suffering from a substance-use disorder can have a negative impact on an individual’s ability to participate and perform meaningful occupations. Additionally, it was found that as individuals become entrenched in substance-use, they abandon all occupations not associated with using substances, which results in an occupational imbalance and a loss of occupational identity. Although positive recovery results have been reported using occupation-based interventions to treat substance-use disorder and occupational therapy has been acknowledged as a suitable service to treat mental illnesses such as substance-use disorder, the frequency of occupational therapist’s working in substance use treatment remains minimal. The occupational therapy literature requires a more robust evidence-base to highlight and promote the value of this profession for those living with substance-use disorder. In order to align with the overarching ethos of providing client centered care, further research should explore the experiences of individuals who are utilizing occupational therapy services. The current literature lacks the inclusion of these perspectives of individuals seeking recovery, therefore further research is required to explore their experiences of engaging with occupational therapy services in their journey of recovery from substance-use disorder. Aim: This research aims to explore individuals with substance-use disorder’s experiences of occupational therapy services. Design: An interpretive phenomenological approach will be used to collect data from 7 participants using a semi-structured interview designed to capture detailed descriptions of participants’ experiences of engaging with occupational therapy services within a 15-bed inpatient hospital ward. 4 Expected outcome: The hope of this research is to contribute towards the current occupational therapy evidence-base by uncovering the positive experiences of individuals who engage with occupational therapy, while providing applicable recommendations to existing services which could better address and facilitate recovery.