The influence of spiritual beliefs and practices on quality of life in members of Narcotics Anonymous

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Creaven, Tom
Issue Date
BA Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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Substance abuse/drug addiction is causing huge problems to our society. These include unemployment, violence, crime, and a strain on the law enforcement and health services. Public funding is being spent in prevention, education and treatment, and great effort has been made to stop the rising tide of addiction. Spirituality is one factor that may be effective in this area. Unfortunately very little research has been done to assess how effective spirituality can be in moderating and treating drug abuse. The purpose of this study was to explore spiritual beliefs and practices in the context of twelve step programmes, and to discover what effect if any they have on the quality of life of members. Semi structured interviews were conducted with two groups, one in Dublin, the other in the Northwest. The results showed that spirituality did have an impact on quality of life, and the impact increased in proportion to the length of abstinence. Some of the changes the participants made to their lives were dramatic. The study suggests that a spiritually based programme aimed at schools and colleges could be effective in preventing substance abuse in young people