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What happens with spirituality when individuals become abstinent from substances ? Comparison between 12-step and non- 12 step programmes . Venetia Leonidaki¹ ³ Dr. David Ball ² ³ Dr. Kim Wolff ³

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What happens with spirituality when

individuals become abstinent from substances ? Comparison between 12-step and non- 12 step programmes.

Venetia Leonidaki¹ ³ Dr. David Ball ² ³ Dr. Kim Wolff ³

1.North Essex Foundation Trust 2.South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust 3.Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London

  • 1.Introduction

  • There has been an increased interest in the role of spirituality and religiousness (S/R) in drug/ alcohol problems and recovery from them.

  • One area towards which this interest has been directed is the possible change of S/Rwhen individuals become abstinent from substance use.

  • Most studies found significant change in various variables of S/R during recovery from substance use with the exception of Miller’s control trial (1, 2, 3, 4,).

  • This research area can help us to understand better:

  • the actual process of recovery

  • the role of spiritual change in achieving and maintaining abstinence.

5.Results

5.1.Comparison of S/R between the 12-Step and the Eclectic Group

Three out of five dimensions of S/R and attributions to God were significantly higher in the 12-step group rather than the eclectic.

  • 2.Current Study

  • This is the first study which aims to compare spiritual change between rehabilitations with a 12-step philosophy (which emphasises spirituality) and those with an eclectic philosophy (with a mainly cognitive behavioural focus and little reference to spirituality).

  • It explores whether the possible spiritual change during recovery is a result of the programme philosophy (most studies have taken place in 12-step settings) or a pure component of the recovery process.

5.2 Length of abstinence and S/R

The length of abstinence did not correlate significantly with any dimension of S/R or Attributions to God in the total sample or when the correlations were estimated separately for the 12-step and the eclectic group (scores vary from r=-0.010 p=0.886 for religiousness to r=0.11; p=0.879 for cognitive orientation to spirituality).

  • 6. Conclusions

  • The scores of most dimensions of S/R are significantly higher in the 12-step group compared to the eclectic group.

    • Surprisingly, greater length of abstinence did not relate to higher scores of S/R in individuals recovering from substance use in rehabilitation centres. This appeared to be the case for both 12-step and eclectic rehabilitations.

    • Thus perhaps individuals who have an interest in spirituality choose to go to 12-step rehabilitations.

    • The lack of association between S/R and length of abstinence contradicts the existent literature.

    • Possible explanations for this might include:

    • a lack of linear relationship between S/R and length of abstinence

    • cultural differences between the UK and the US

    • the participants of the study were not abstinent for long enough

    • the way that S/R was conceptualised from the specific measures.

3.Research Questions

1. Are the scores of S/R significantly different between individuals recovering from substance use in 12-step rehabilitation programs and those recovering in eclectic programs?

2. Is there any association between length of abstinence and scores of S/R in individuals recovering from substance use?

3. Does the above association (if any) differ significantly between individuals recovering in 12-step programs and those in eclectic programs?

  • 4. Methodology

  • Design: Analytical Cross Sectional

  • Settings :11 abstinence-orientated rehabilitation centers in London and the wider area.

  • Participants :205 recovering individuals: 110 participants from 12-step and 95 from eclectic programs.

  • The length of abstinence ranged from 5 days to 950 days (mean [SD]= 114.8 [101.8] days).

  • 96% response rate

  • Measurements 1.The Revised Edition of Expressions of Spirituality Inventory which measures five dimensions of S/R (5)2.Attributions to God Scale (6)

7.References

1.Miller, W. R., Forchimes, A., O’ Leary, M. J., & LaNoue, M. D. (2008). Spiritual direction in addiction treatment: two clinical trials. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment35, 434-442.

2.Piderman, K. M., Schneekloth, T. D., Shane, P., Maloney, S. D., Altchuler, S. I. (2007). Spirituality in alcoholics during treatment. The American Journal on Addictions16, 232-237.

3.Robinson, E. A.R., Cranford, J., Webb, J. R., & Brower, K. J. (2007). Six-month changes in spirituality, religiousness and heavy drinking in a treatment seeking sample. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs68, 282-290.

4.Zemore, S. E., & Kaskutas, L. A. (2004). Helping, spirituality and Alcoholics Anonymous in recovery. Journal of Studies on Alcohol65 (3), 383-391.

5.MacDonald, D. A. (2000). Spirituality: Description, measurement, and relation to the five factor model of personality, Journal of Personality68 (1), 153-197.

6.Baker, M. P., Sellman, J. D., Horn, J. (2001). Developing a God/Higher Power Scale for use with twelve step treatment programs. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly19 (2), 45-61.


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