Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis of reinitiation into methamphetamine abusers: qualitative findings from an exploration of methamphetamine abusers in Shanghai, China. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Despite high relapse rate among methamphetamine (MA) abusers, there still have been little empirical data to date detecting the risk factors related to craving and relapse from the perspective of MA abusers. Therefore, the aim of this study was to use qualitative research methods exploring the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threat factors that could facilitate or impede individuals' abstinence in a real-life context from the perspectives of MA abusers. AIM: To use qualitative research methods exploring the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threat factors relating to individuals' abstinence in a real-life context. METHOD: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 32 MA abusers recruited in Shanghai guided by open-ended questions on narrating the real-life catalysts and inhibitors related to craving, initiation, relapse and abstinence. All data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis. RESULTS: The results of the SWOT analysis revealed that contextual factors including peer influence, prevalence and availability of MA, familiar venue of MA use, discrimination, sexual behaviours, alcohol, emotional states and their attitudes towards smoking MA were important factors that contribute to reinitiation and relapse. Surveillance systems, antidrug social workers, vocational skills trainings, moving to another city and family responsibility might serve as counter measures targeting those mentioned weaknesses and threats above. CONCLUSION: This SWOT analysis highlights the complex nature of relapse. Comprehensive interventions strengthening coping skills such as virtual reality techniques are desperately needed to facilitate individuals' sustained abstinence.

published proceedings

  • Gen Psychiatr

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhu, Y., Zhong, N. a., Su, H., Ruan, X., Bao, J., Zhang, L., ... Zhao, M.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Zhu, Youwei||Zhong, Na||Su, Hang||Ruan, Xiaolu||Bao, Jiayi||Zhang, Lei||Du, Jiang||Xu, Ding||Ding, Rongjie||Xiao, Ke||Zhao, Min

publication date

  • July 2019


  • BMJ  Publisher