Spiritual/religious experiences and in-treatment outcome in an inner-city program for heroin and cocaine dependence

Adrienne Heinz, David H. Epstein, Kenzie L. Preston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although spirituality is an integral component of some of the most popular approaches to substance abuse treatment, there is little empirical evidence for a causal relationship between spirituality and treatment success. In the present study, 169 (121 male) opiate- or cocaine-abusing treatment seekers completed the Index of Spiritual Experience (INSPIRIT), a questionnaire that assesses both spirituality and religiosity. Responses were analyzed in terms of demographic variables and in-treatment outcome, which was determined by treatment retention and drug screens from observed biweekly urine collections. Religious/spiritual beliefs were common in these participants and were associated with in-treatment outcome: total INSPIRIT score was weakly correlated (r = .16, p <.04) with number of subsequent cocaine-negative urines, and participants reporting that they frequently spent time on religious/spiritual activities showed significantly better outcomes in terms of subsequent drug use and treatment retention. Women and African Americans were more likely than men and non-African Americans to report religious and spiritual beliefs or experiences on several individual items, and African Americans had higher INSPIRIT scores than Caucasians. The results suggest that spiritual and religious experience plays a role in substance abuse recovery and that demographic characteristics should be considered in the design of spiritually oriented behavioral interventions for addiction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Volume39
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Heroin Dependence
Cocaine-Related Disorders
Spirituality
Religion
Cocaine
African Americans
Substance-Related Disorders
Opiate Alkaloids
Demography
Therapeutics
Urine Specimen Collection
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Urine

Keywords

  • Addiction
  • Religion
  • Spirituality
  • Substance abuse
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Spiritual/religious experiences and in-treatment outcome in an inner-city program for heroin and cocaine dependence. / Heinz, Adrienne; Epstein, David H.; Preston, Kenzie L.

In: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Vol. 39, No. 1, 03.2007, p. 41-49.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Heinz, Adrienne ; Epstein, David H. ; Preston, Kenzie L. / Spiritual/religious experiences and in-treatment outcome in an inner-city program for heroin and cocaine dependence. In: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 2007 ; Vol. 39, No. 1. pp. 41-49.
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