Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Drug addiction, Drug addiction-Social aspects, Drug addicts-Family relationships, Rural families, Quantitative research, Opiate, Opioid, Rural, Bowen theory, Family systems theory, Addiction, Dependence


Both popular media and academics have noted that rural communities are beset with an opiate epidemic. However, research related to opiate abuse tends to focus on those living in urban settings. The present study compared the responses of urban and rural clinicians who work with opiate/opioid-dependent clients, as it was hypothesized that addiction is uniquely influenced by population density. Specifically, this research focused on the role an opiate-dependent client's family plays in their opiate use and whether this role differs based on location. Bowen's Family Systems Theory was used to frame the study, as it was hypothesized that family norms were influenced by location. This research found differences in the role of rural families when compared to urban families. Implications for rural practitioners who treat opiate/opioid dependent clients are discussed.




v, 48 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 36-39)