Impact of Relationship Quality and Recovery Attitudes on Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use among Emerging Adults



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Over 9 million Americans above 11 years old misused opioids in the last year, with the largest portion (1.4 million) of those individuals being in the young adult (i.e., 18-25 years old) range (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], 2021). The concept of recovery has been defined as the overall experience, encapsulating both the process and status of voluntarily using resources (i.e., recovery capital) to heal physically and psychologically (White, 2007). Literature of recovery capital in young/emerging adulthood suggests recovery capital may be even more important for the emerging adult population (Elswick et al., 2018; Mawson et al., 2015; Terrion, 2013). The present study examined the dynamic connection between severity of opioid use and aspects of recovery capital (i.e., recovery attitudes and relationship quality) in a sample of emerging adults receiving medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD). Recovery attitudes were found to buffer the association between initial opioid use and days of use during the study. Recovery attitudes were also observed to change over time, though not in a uniform direction. Findings regarding relationship quality approached significance. This study added to the literature of recovery capital and emerging adults by examining factors that are particularly important for this developmental stage. It also explored novel findings on recovery attitudes for emerging adults with opioid use, particularly in early recovery. Further research is needed with larger samples to replicate and expand the findings of the present study.



Psychology, General