Scientists from National Development and Research Institutes, Inc (NDRI) in New York City and Chestnut Health System in Bloomington, Illinois explored the role of social supports, spirituality, religiousness, life meaning, and 12-step participation in the process of recovery from addiction. The study reveals markedly improved life satisfaction as recovery progresses as well as a decrease in stress when people were inclined to spirituality. The results were published in the Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly.
The scientific study was conducted with the support of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Peter McManus Charitable Trust. The participants included more than 300 recovering persons from the New York City. They belonged to the inner-city ethnic minority members formerly addicted to crack cocaine, heroin, and who had used other multiple substances more than twenty years. They were interviewed in depth about their addiction recovery experiences.
Dr. Alexandre Laudet, Ph.D the director of the Center for the Study of Addictions and Recovery, principal investigator and the lead author of the study said that in the ongoing research the scientists were able to successfully demonstrate scientifically the way in which quality of life and recovery from addictions is enhanced by social supports, spirituality, religiousness, and participation with 12-step fellowship programs such as Narcotics Anonymous. The main aim of this study is to give hope to everyone struggling with addiction and to support their families, and guide clinicians toward developing individualized programs to maximize the chances of recovery.
William White who is also involved in the research said that many religious, secular and spiritual pathways can lead to long-term addiction recovery. This research mainly charts the commonalities and distinguishing features of these pathways and thereby helps individuals and their families during their difficult times in need.
Dr. Bernard S. Arons, M.D, Executive Director/CEO of NDRI said that the research though is limited, is a very impressive study as it uses state of the art methodology, a large representative sample, and relevant statistical analyses makes tremendous advances in the field.