Drug addiction is one of the most common social issues and problems (1). According to the definition proposed by the World Health Organization, addictive substances include every substance that the complications resulting from its consumption can affect the physical and psychological health of the individual and family, and also affect the economic, social, political, and cultural systems of the community (2, 3).
According to the World Drug Report 2013, the number of illicit drug users has increased since 2008 (1). Perhaps, drug abuse had previously been a problem exclusively observed in males, however nowadays, due to the departure from the traditional lifestyle, the growth of urbanization, and the social movements of females, women are also similarly subjected to social phenomena such as addiction (4). Based on the statistical data on population published by the United Nations, about 200 billion people aged 15 to 24 years old, which form about 5% of the world's total population, are practicing substance abuse (5). Although addiction seems to be a male issue in Iran, women as half of the population are directly and indirectly affected by addiction (6). In general, statistical data indicate that women account for 9% of all drug users, and substance use among women quadrupled over the past decade (7). Various studies have investigated the etiology of addiction among females; based on the results of such studies, several factors such as the availability of substance, lack of awareness, pressure from spouses or friends, the need for a detachment from reality, poverty, domestic violence and sexual abuse, psychological pressure, the presence of addicted persons in the family, and divorce are the reasons for drug use in females (8, 9).
The use of narcotic substances by females has negative consequences and outcomes, among which we may note abandonment, the formation of an addicted generation, violence, self-mutilation, tattooing, shared injection, unprotected sexual behavior, and reduced communication with ordinary people (8, 10). According to studies conducted in Iran, of all women who practice substance abuse, 5–17% have a history of unprotected sexual relationships; moreover, hepatitis C is observed in 1.9–100%, tattooing in 35.7%, the use of shared syringes for injection in 45%, sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis in 1–6%, chlamydia in 1–5%, herpes in 38–61%, and HPV in 42% of female drug users (11). However, most of addicted women conceal their addiction as they fear stigma and discrimination (10). Nowadays, improving the quality of life is one of the most important goals of treatment intervention programs. Based on the definition, the quality of life is an individual’s perception of his / her own health status and the degree of satisfaction with that condition. The World Health Organization defines the quality of life as a person's perception of his / her status in life that is associated with goals, expectations, values, and individual concerns. Existing evidence suggests an undesirable quality of life among Iranian addicted women (12).
Since women are responsible for motherhood and upbringing the next generation, the presence of an addicted mother in the family can cause serious harms to spouse and children, and consequently to the community. Therefore, it is necessary to design and implement comprehensive interventions to prevent substance abuse in women. Furthermore, to devise effective educational programs and interventions to improve the quality of life of addicted women, it is essential to obtain information about the status of abusing addictive substances and the related changes in the quality of life. Therefore, the present study aimed at determining the quality of life and its related factors among addicted women covered by substance abuse treatment centers in Hamadan.