Religious faith and spirituality in substance abuse recovery: determining the mental health benefits

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2000 Dec;19(4):347-54. doi: 10.1016/s0740-5472(00)00125-2.

Abstract

Recently, mental health professionals have begun examining the potential value of religious faith and spirituality in the lives of individuals suffering from a variety of acute and chronic illnesses. This study explored the relation between religious faith, spirituality, and mental health outcomes in 236 individuals recovering from substance abuse. We found that recovering individuals tend to report high levels of religious faith and religious affiliation, but choose to rate themselves as being more spiritual than religious. Results also indicate that among recovering individuals, higher levels of religious faith and spirituality were associated with a more optimistic life orientation, greater perceived social support, higher resilience to stress, and lower levels of anxiety. This represents the largest self-report study to date examining the relation between religious faith, spirituality, and mental health outcomes among individuals recovering from substance abuse.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Religion*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*