Incarcerated women’s relationship-based strategies to avoid drug use after community re-entry

Claire Snell-Rood, Michele Staton-Tindall, Grant Victor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


While recent research has stressed the supportive role that family and friends play for incarcerated persons as they re-enter the community, drug-using incarcerated women re-entering the community often have to rely on family, community, and intimate relationships that have played a role in their substance abuse and criminalization. In this study the authors conducted qualitative analysis of clinical sessions with rural, drug-using women (N = 20) in a larger prison-based HIV risk reduction intervention in Kentucky during 2012–2014 to examine incarcerated women’s perceptions of the role of their family, community, and intimate relationships in their plans to decrease their substance abuse upon community re-entry. Women stressed the obstacles to receiving support in many of their family and drug-using relationships after community re-entry. Nonetheless, they asserted that changes in their relationships could support their desires to end their substance abuse by setting limits on and using their positive relationships, particularly with their children, to motivate them to change. Interventions to promote incarcerated women’s health behavior changes—including substance abuse—must acknowledge the complex social environments in which they live.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-858
Number of pages16
JournalWomen and Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this article was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award R01DA033866. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.


  • Abuse
  • behavior
  • coping
  • drug use
  • mental health
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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