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Mental health and family relations among people who inject drugs and their family members in Vietnam.

  • Author(s): Li, Li
  • Tuan, Nguyen Anh
  • Liang, Li-Jung
  • Lin, Chunqing
  • Farmer, Shu C
  • Flore, Martin
  • et al.


This article explores the association of people who inject drugs and their family members in terms of mental health and family relations. The objective was to understand the family context and its impact on people who inject drugs in a family-oriented culture in Vietnam.


Cross-sectional assessment data were gathered from 83 people who inject drugs and 83 of their family members recruited from four communes in Phú Thọ province, Vietnam. Depressive symptoms and family relations were measured for both people who inject drugs and family members. Internalized shame and drug-using behavior were reported by people who inject drugs, and caregiver burden was reported by family members.


We found that higher level of drug using behavior of people who inject drugs was significantly associated with higher depressive symptoms and lower family relations reported by themselves as well as their family members. Family relations reported by people who inject drugs and their family members were positively correlated.


The findings highlight the need for interventions that address psychological distress and the related challenges faced by family members of people who inject drugs. The article has policy implication which concludes with an argument for developing strategies that enhance the role of families in supporting behavioral change among people who inject drugs.

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