The journal of behavioral health services & research

Effect of religiosity and spirituality on drug treatment outcomes.

PMID 18770043


This study empirically tested one component of a comprehensive model of the role of religiosity and spirituality (R/S) in drug treatment that is presented as a companion article in this special issue. Data collected from individuals dependent on heroin receiving narcotic replacement therapy were used to assess the effects of R/S on drug treatment outcomes. Based on their R and S scores, participants were assigned to one of four groups: those whose scores remained consistently high across the 12-month study period were compared to those whose scores were consistently low, increased, or decreased across the same period. Results indicated that at both study completion (12 months after admission) and 6 months after that participants in the consistently high and increasing spirituality groups self-reported significantly fewer days of heroin and cocaine/crack use than those in the consistently low group (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences among the religiosity groups on self-reported heroin or cocaine/crack use. Results from chi(2) analyses indicated that at 12 months the results of urinalysis for the presence of opiates, but not cocaine/crack, were dependent on spirituality group membership (p < 0.01) but not religiosity group membership. Results also indicated that at the 6-month follow-up, there were significantly more participants in the decreasing group who were not in maintenance treatment who had a positive urinalysis and fewer in the increasing group than would be expected if the two variables were independent (p < 0.05). Implications for addictions health services are discussed.