A new dimension in recovery : a study examining the Inclusion of spirituality in the field of addiction

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Chavez, Maria
Issue Date
MA in Addiction Studies
Dublin Business School
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This study examines the inclusion of a spiritual dimension in the clinical setting as it is experienced by treatment providers in a variety of clinical settings. This research explores how these individuals conceptualize spirituality and the concepts of higher power and God. It also explores if they believe spirituality can be incorporated into personal treatment and also looks at possible ways in which this can be done. Spirituality here is defined as transcendent processes that supercede ordinary, material existence. Since the 1990 's there has been a growing interest in the area but a number of issues continue to confound research; the lack of a unified working definition and the variance in correlating factors have hampered progress in this form of treatment. There are a variety of outcomes in the literature with the use of quantitative measures thus a return to subjective experiences is of prominent concern. There were eight participants interviewed total from five different addiction centres in the greater Dublin area. All of the participants advocated a spiritual inclusion in the treatment of chemical addictions and even found it inextricable for recovery. Applications of spiritual activities in treatment are numerous due to the wide conceptualizations of what is spiritual but two different activities were found to be positively related to recovery. Group activities which strengthen trust and build relationships such as field trips to nature, discussion groups and horticulture; there were also solitary activities which provide peace and a sense of support such as prayer and meditation. In essence, what was seen as crucial to recovery was personal time for reflection and building up strength.