Recovery after completion of inpatient substance abuse treatment program in the Western Cape: An exploratory study on self-efficacy differences
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Recent increases in intellectual, social, infrastructural and economic resources available for the treatment of substance related mental disorders in the Western Cape reflects the national surge towards health promotion and eradication of the burden created by substance abuse. This large number of people who relapse and return to active substance abuse after receiving treatment obstruct this aim. This study aimed to determine the differences in self efficacy and assess for the risk for relapse during the first twelve months of recovery. Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory provided a suitable framework for the objectives of this study. A cross-sectional survey research design was implemented. Research participants were recruited from different aftercare groups across Western Cape using cluster sampling. The sample consisted of 105 English literate, consenting adult residents of Western Cape who completed an inpatient substance abuse rehabilitation program within twelve months spanning April 2014- April 2015. Data was collected from respondents using two instruments; a demographic information sheet, and an adapted alcohol abstinence self-efficacy scale (AASE). This instrument showed high validity and reliability during a pilot study conducted to ascertain its reliability in a South African sample. Ethics clearance and project registration was given by the Senate Research Committee of the University of the Western Cape. All ethics principles were adhered to and attention was paid particularly to ensuring confidentiality, informed consent, voluntary participation and the right to withdraw without risk of loss or negative consequence. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics, correlation matrices and regression analysis. The results indicated that self-efficacy was highest during the first days and weeks following discharge from a treatment facility. Respondents who remained gainfully employed during recovery reported higher overall self-efficacy and coped better with negative emotions, withdrawal, physical discomfort and urges to use. Respondents’ perceived ability to cope with negative emotions, and resist withdrawal and urges to use again decreased as post-discharge time increased, with females reporting lower self-efficacy than males and respondents’ age showing no significant effect on recovery outcomes. In conclusion, high abstinence self-efficacy has proven to be a predictor of sobriety. After care, interventions can focus on activities to strengthen abstinence self-efficacy levels. Employment stands out as a vital factor to consider in helping people maintain sobriety.