• subjective well-being;
  • quality of life;
  • health-related quality of life;
  • drug and alcohol treatment;
  • mental health


Introduction and Aims

The aim of this study is to examine the self-reported subjective well-being and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of alcohol and other drug users and to examine whether subjective well-being in this sample would be predicted by either HRQOL and/or severity of dependence.

Design and Methods

A cross-sectional survey was conducted of 201 Victorian substance users in individual targeted outpatient treatment for a variety of types of substance use. Participants were administered an interview, including the personal well-being index, the SF-8 health survey and the severity of dependence scale, in order to assess subjective well-being, the mental health component of HRQOL and severity of drug dependence respectively.


Subjective well-being was predicted by mental health aspects of HRQOL (sr2= 0.03) and by employment (sr2= 0.05), rather than by severity of dependence [F(5, 146) = 5.60, P < 0.001, R2= 0.14].

Discussion and Conclusions

The current sample of urban and regional substance users in outpatient treatment shows poorer levels of subjective well-being than do the general population. Subjective well-being was predicted by mental aspects of HRQOL and not by severity of drug dependence or by physical aspects of HRQOL. Treatment which aims to improve substance users' well-being should include mental health interventions and pathways to employment. [Miller PG, Hyder S, Zinkiewicz L, Droste N, Harris JB. Comparing subjective well-being and health-related quality of life of Australian drug users in treatment in Regional and Rural Victoria. Drug Alcohol Rev 2014;33:651-657]