The main aim of this research is to determine whether spirituality has an effect on drug abuse treatment programs. Articles for the research were all published in renowned journals, and a key word search of spirituality and drug abuse led to them.
Some articles were too prescriptive while others did not focus on an intervention. The 3 articles did not possess these two qualities.
Analysis of the articles
Heinz et al. (2010) carried out an analysis of the relationship between spirituality and substance abuse treatment.
The hypothesis of the study was that spirituality is appropriate in the formal treatment of addiction; the study confirmed this hypothesis.
The researchers defined the dependent variable (treatment of addiction) as a treatment program consisting of 25 methadone-addicted males. They measured it on the basis of success of treatment outcomes.
The authors also defined the independent variable (spirituality) as a deep relationship between oneself and a transcendent being. They measured it by the responses given by the participants.
Data collection was through a focus group approach of the 25 addicts. The research lacked a control group, which undermined its ability to be randomized.
The study did not consist of an ethnically diverse group, so its relevance to other populations may be questionable. Nonetheless, it supports the assumption that spirituality is central to recovery from drug abuse.
White and Laudet (2006) main research hypothesis was that spirituality played a significant role in addiction counseling; they confirmed the hypothesis. The dependent variable was addiction counseling, and they measured it through success or failure rates in recovery.
The group defined the independent variable (spirituality) by how a person experiences it and the intensity or authenticity of the experience. A spiritual well being scale, a self assessment scale, as well as a religious background survey, were the methods of measuring the independent variable.
A study of addicted subjects enabled data collection. It came from a range of journal studies on the same. This was a comprehensive survey of existing information on the topic. Control groups existed in some articles while others did not.
The divergence of the study groups used indicates that the findings can be randomized. The authors belonged to a theoretical camp in which counselors believe that scientific methods can be applied to the definition and measurement of spirituality during the treatment of addiction (Piedmont, 2004).
Galanter et al. (2006) had a research hypothesis which stated that spiritual orientation is a vital part of recovery; they confirmed the hypothesis. They defined the dependent variable as abstinence from an addictive drug and measured it by the presence or absence of the addiction.
In the analysis, they defined as having a relationship with God. Galanter et al. (2006) measured it through a six-item spirituality scale that they created. The studies involved substance abusers and non addicts in a methadone treatment facility, general hospital, community therapeutic area and a psychiatric service.
The self reported assertions of the participants were the method of data collection. Since there were control groups in each facility consisting on none addicts, the research can be generalized.
It may also be randomized as the self rating scale was for all users. The authors belong to the group of practitioners who believe that spirituality improves recovery for some patients (Galanter, 2005).
The above findings indicate that most authors largely focus on whether spirituality matters in substance abuse. In this research, it will be necessary to look into how it can be used.
Galanter, M. (2005). Spirituality and the healthy mind. Oxford: OUP.
Galanter, M., Dermatis, H., Bunt, G., Williams, C., Trujillo, M. & Steinke, P. (2006). Assessment of spirituality and its relevance to addiction treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 33, 257-264.
Heinz, A., Disney, E., Epstein, D., Glezen, L, Clark, P. and Preston, K. (2010). A focus-group study on spirituality and substance-abuse treatment. Substance Use Misuse 45(2), 134-153
Piedmont, R. (2004). Spiritual transcendence as a predictor of psychosocial outcome from an outpatient substance abuse program. Psychology of Addictive Behaviour, 18, 213-222.
White, W. & Laudet, A. (2006). Spirituality, science and addiction counselling. Counsellor, 7(1), 56-59