The relationship between abandonment and use of illicit substances

Date of Completion

January 2005


Health Sciences, Mental Health|Education, Guidance and Counseling|Psychology, Clinical




This study explored the relationship between abandonment as measured by the Feelings of Abandonment Scale (FOAS), and use of illicit drugs. It was hypothesized that individuals who used illicit drugs would score higher on the (FOAS) than non-users. This study also evaluated whether there were differences in levels of feelings of abandonment among opiate users compared to non-opiate users, and college students versus those receiving treatment for substance abuse. The two groups were administered the FOAS, and t-tests and multivariate t-tests were conducted to evaluate whether differences existed between these two groups. Significant differences in FOAS scores were noted among opiate users compared to non-opiate users, and the college versus treatment groups. The study failed to find a significant relationship between feelings of abandonment and presence of a substance use disorder. Other findings and implications for further research are discussed. Identification of abandonment as a counseling issue and recommendations for treatment are suggested. ^