Society of African Journal Editors

African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies

Substance use literacy: Implications for HIV medication adherence and addiction severity among substance users

Authors: Rachel Maina, Anne A. Obondo, Mary Wangari Kuria, Dennis M. Donovan

Journal: African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies

This cross sectional study examined the relationship between substance use literacy and HIV medication adherence and whether severity of addiction modified this relationship. 179 HIV infected substance users completed the Questionnaire Assessment of Literacy in Mental Health, Addiction Severity Test, and Morisky Medication Adherence Scale. Most respondents wrongly identified the alcohol use vignette problem as stress (50.3%). Not recognizing that there was a problem was significantly correlated with moderate adherence (P = 0.003). Preference was given to informal sources of help such as a close friend (83.2%, P = 0.050), as well as psychosocial forms of management like physical exercise (79.9%, P = 0.007) rather than professionals such as psychiatrists (58.1%) which was associated with moderate adherence and low addiction severity. Substance use literacy was found to be a significant variable in increasing HIV medication adherence and decreasing addiction severity. Keywords: Substance use literacy, Substance use, HIV medication adherence, Addiction severity modifier