An exploration of substitute addictions in recovering substance users in the Western Cape, South Africa: A multiple methods study

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Despite a long history of being reported clinically, substitute addictions remain a significant but neglected public health concern with implications for assessment, treatment planning, and recovery outcomes.

1. Sussman, S., & Black, D. S. (2008). Substitute addiction: A concern for researchers and practitioners. Journal of Drug Education, 38(2), 167-180.

2. Koball, A. M., Glodosky, N. C., Ramirez, L. D., Kallies, K. J., & Gearhardt, A. N. (2019). From substances to food: An examination of addiction shift in individuals undergoing residential treatment for substance use. Addiction Research & Theory, 27(4), 322-327.


The overarching aim of this study is to explore the nature and dynamics of substitute addictions in the Western Cape, South Africa. More specifically, the study aims to determine the prevalence, typical features and development of substitute addictions among service users during and after inpatient treatment. The study further aims to explore service providers’ perceptions of substitute addictions. Finally, the study aims to explore recovery support group attendees’ perceptions and experiences of substitute addictions. Ultimately this research endeavours to enhance the performance of recovery intervention services to support and strengthen an enduring recovery.

1. Objective 1 (Sub-study One): To conduct a scoping review to understand the phenomenon of substitute addiction, identify gaps in the literature, and to contextualise its features

2. Objective 2 (Sub-study Two): To determine the prevalence of substitute addiction among service users three months after entry to inpatient substance use treatment facilities

3. Objective 3 (Sub-study Three): To explore service providers' perceptions of substitute addiction

4. Objective 4 (Sub-study Four): To explore recovery support group attendees' perceptions and experiences of substitute addiction


Universiteit Gent - Vakgroep Orthopedagogiek
Deborah Isobell | Prof. dr. Wouter Vanderplasschen

Algemene info


Startdatum 01/01/2017
Einddatum 01/09/2021

Datum laatste wijziging: 14/09/2019
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