Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research

Experiences and narratives - Drug users with antisocial personality disorder retelling the process of treatment and change

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  • Birgitte Thylstrup
  • Morten Hesse
  • Marianne Thomsen, Psychiatric Research Unit, Region Zealand Psychiatry, Roskilde
  • ,
  • Liv Heerwagen, Centre for Sexually Abused South, Denmark

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the value of adding a narrative perspective when listening to how two drug users with comorbid antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) experienced their participation in an intervention treatment targeting their antisocial behaviour. Methods: Two cases were chosen, representing a low and high level of change after participation in a programme intervention targeting ASPD within outpatient drug treatment. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to capture the quality of their experiences and their narrative sense-making strategies. Findings: The two cases converged with some of the core preconceptions about individuals with ASPD but contradicted them in others. Experiences and narratives differed in the ways they perceived their life challenges and their feelings of agency and control concerning their ability to engage in change processes without losing their core self. Conclusions: Responding adequately to user experiences requires paying attention to individual narratives and sense-making strategies. Certain aspects of ASPD may not be exclusive indications of pathological processes, but serve an important function when engaging in treatment and change. Taking this approach has the potential to facilitate a more constructive dialogue about which aspects of their behaviour that it makes sense to change.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Volume22
Issue3
Pages (from-to)293-300
Number of pages8
ISSN0968-7637
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2015

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