Six-Month Changes in Spirituality and Religiousness in Alcoholics Predict Drinking Outcomes at Nine Months*

University of Michigan Addiction Research Center, Ann Arbor, 48109, USA.
Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs (Impact Factor: 2.76). 07/2011; 72(4):660-8. DOI: 10.15288/jsad.2011.72.660
Source: PubMed


Although spiritual change is hypothesized to contribute to recovery from alcohol dependence, few studies have used prospective data to investigate this hypothesis. Prior studies have also been limited to treatment-seeking and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) samples. This study included alcohol-dependent individuals, both in treatment and not, to investigate the effect of spiritual and religious (SR) change on subsequent drinking outcomes, independent of AA involvement.
Alcoholics (N = 364) were recruited for a panel study from two abstinence-based treatment centers, a moderation drinking program, and untreated individuals from the local community. Quantitative measures of SR change between baseline and 6 months were used to predict 9-month drinking outcomes, controlling for baseline drinking and AA involvement.
Significant 6-month changes in 8 of 12 SR measures were found, which included private SR practices, beliefs, daily spiritual experiences, three measures of forgiveness, negative religious coping, and purpose in life. Increases in private SR practices and forgiveness of self were the strongest predictors of improvements in drinking outcomes. Changes in daily spiritual experiences, purpose in life, a general measure of forgiveness, and negative religious coping also predicted favorable drinking outcomes.
SR change predicted good drinking outcomes in alcoholics, even when controlling for AA involvement. SR variables, broadly defined, deserve attention in fostering change even among those who do not affiliate with AA or religious institutions. Last, future research should include SR variables, particularly various types of forgiveness, given the strong effects found for forgiveness of self.

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Available from: Amy R Krentzman, Mar 11, 2014
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    • "There can be no doubt that more emphasis on the issues connected with spirituality might bring positive results for the treatment. It is so because spirituality may be a source of strategies of coping with stress which are significant from the point of view of maintaining abstinence and the process of sobering (Robinson et al. 2011b; Wnuk 2007). In light of the obtained results, it seems that currently the implementation of spiritual issues in therapy would be especially beneficial for women. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to examine the sex differences in the initial level of spiritual coping, forgiveness, and gratitude and changes occurring in these areas during a basic alcohol addiction treatment program. The study involved 112 persons, including 56 women and 56 men, who started and completed a basic alcohol addiction treatment pro-gram at day care units of 11 treatment centers. Two measurements were taken: one in the first week of the treatment, and one in the last week (5th–7th week after baseline). The Spiritual Coping Questionnaire, the Forgiveness Scale, and Gratitude Questionnaire were used. When starting the therapy, women had a higher level of negative spiritual coping (p = .024) and a lower level of forgiveness of others (p = .041) than men. During the therapy, positive changes in spiritual coping occurred in both sex groups, although in the case of women they involved improvements in more domains and they were stronger. The increase in the level of moral values (except for self-forgiveness) was noted solely in women. The study reveals the need to take sex differences into consideration when introducing spiritual elements into the therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Religion and Health
    • "Changes in a person's spirituality also may influence drinking behavior independent of his or her AA involvement. To examine this possibility , researchers have measured changes in spirituality and religious participation among individuals with AUDs both with and without AA involvement (Robinson et al. 2011). Results indicated that, independent of AA involvement, 6-month increases in private spiritual or religious practices and forgiveness of self were the strongest predictors of improved drinking outcomes. "

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    • "Participants from El Salvador reported that individuals stopped or cut down on their drug use by becoming Christian or a brother in Christ (Dickson-Gomez et al., 2011). Furthermore, increase in spiritual and religious practices such as prayer, meditation, and reading, while in the recovery process, was reported to improve drinking problems outcomes (Robinson et al. 2011). While many researchers are studying the role of religion on alcohol and substance abuse and recovery, it is important to notice here that further research is needed to fully understand the specific role that religion plays in helping alcohol and substance abusers during the recovery process. "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to understand religious factors role during recovery period among Jordanian receiving treatment for alcohol and substances abuse. Participants were asked to answer open-ended questions related to role of religion on their recovery from alcohol and substances abuse. Content analysis was used to explore the role of religion on their recovery process. One hundred and forty-six clients from two treatment centers participated with two main themes that emerged from the analysis: role of religion and role of religious men. Religion not only helps during the recovery process, but also is considered as a protector from drug and alcohol abuse in the future.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Religion and Health
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