Points Bibliography: Spirituality, Religion, and Addiction Treatment

Editor’s Note:  These entries are part of an ongoing drug-related dissertation bibliography being compiled by Jonathon Erlen. They were formerly published in the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs journal but are now periodically featured on the Points blog. For more information, contact Dr. Erlen through the link above.

A Faith-Infused, Addiction Recovery Model of Pastoral Care to Help Reduce the Epidemic of Substance Addiction; an Urban Ministry Prototype in Raleigh, North Carolina

Author: Daniels, George T.

Abstract: Substance addiction, often referred to as substance abuse, is a major problem in American society. Addiction destroys lives. Just about everyone at some point has known someone who was addicted to drugs or alcohol. Substance addiction crosses cultural and socioeconomic lines; it does not discriminate. Church leadership often encounter members who struggle with addiction. Many pastors are ill-prepared to care for addicted persons. Pastoral training concerning substance addiction becomes a key factor in a ministry recovery model. The goal of this project, therefore, was to train pastors and church leaders about substance addiction. The project explored models of substance addiction across several disciplines. The result of this work will increase the church leader’s understanding of addiction and its effects on individuals, families and communities. To determine the effectiveness of this project, the researcher employed two assessment instruments. The first instrument was a Likert-scale questionnaire, which gathered data to underscore the need for the project. The second was the participant interview, which revealed the person’s project experience and their assessment of the ministry project. The assessment tools showed that this faith-infused addiction recovery model was effective. Each participant indicated that he or she experienced an increase in knowledge, skills, and positive attitude concerning substance addiction.

Number of pages: 121

Publication year: 2015

ISBN: 9781321992977

Advisor: Harris, Antipas L.

Committee member: Smith, Raynard

University/institution: Regent University

Department: School of Divinity

A Catechetical Program for Roman Catholics in Twelve Step Recovery

Author: Kelley, Kathleen M.

Abstract: Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and other Twelve Step programs are based on the belief that recovery from addictions is inherently spiritual. These programs are careful to distinguish themselves as spiritual and not religious so as to make clear that they are not affiliated in any way with any particular belief system. Twelve Step based addiction treatment programs further support this by advancing the idea that “religious” refers to the doctrinal and ritualistic practices of organized religion and “spiritual” refers to the personal pursuit of our own conception of God, higher power and even to that which signifies ultimate meaning and purpose. While this is not inaccurate it does tend to form too much of a distinction between the two as there is a rich spirituality inherent in many religions and particular to this project in Catholicism. This project sought to address this distinction for Catholics in recovery who may have questions about how to understand the spiritual dimension of addiction and recovery by taking some of the key concepts in Twelve Step spirituality and recasting them in light of some fundamental aspects of Catholic faith and practice. To accomplish this, I led a catechetical program aimed at improving the participant’s knowledge and understanding of the Liturgy, the Sacraments and prayer and their relevance to recovery spirituality. Upon completion of the program, participants were asked to complete a post program questionnaire which assessed improvements in their knowledge and changes in the likelihood of engaging in religious based spiritual practices in recovery. The results support a conclusion that the program did effect some quantifiable change in both knowledge and in the likelihood of integrating Catholic faith with Twelve Step spirituality for all participants. A particular contribution of this program is that it facilitated a renewed interest for several participants who previously lacked meaningful connection to the Church during this time of significant change.

Number of pages: 209

Publication year: 2017

Degree date: 2017

ISBN: 9781369614381

Advisor: Rossetti, Stephen

Committee members: Clay, Michael; Studzinski, Raymond

University/institution: The Catholic University of America

Department: Pastoral Studies

Mentoring Men in Addiction Recovery: The Abyssinian Baptist Church (ABC) Countering Substance Abuse in North Philadelphia

Author: Pointer, George R.

Abstract: The local church is called to play a significant role in the transformational process of the local community to which it is called. This role is integral to mission. Based on this, the primary goal of this project is to develop a church-based recovery program for men suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. More specifically, it is to develop a recovery program to be implemented as a ministry of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, directed at men suffering from addiction in a section of North Philadelphia called Nicetown, the area of my ministry. Substance abuse in Nicetown has been cited with alarming results in recent studies. It is further detailed as an increasing problem in clergy meetings with the local Police District Captain and his department community liaison officer, as a major contributor of the increase in recent 911 calls concerning assaults and other crimes of passion in the community. Pastors particularly, have been encouraged in these meetings to become more involved through a collaborative effort to develop a plan or strategy to address this problem. The few pastors who are receptive to the need for a collaborative effort to work together to address the substance abuse issue, responded in terms of futuristic (not now but later) priority. There seems to be a sense of let someone else deal with it! I sense the presence of the Holy Spirit speaking in terms of immediate opportunity for me, an addict in recovery, to develop and implement a sustainable project of mentorship to help men in the community already in the process of recovery. I will use members of my church and other volunteers from the community, to help me to recruit men who will participate in this study. The goal of this study is to mentor and develop men as agents, and examples of spiritual renewal and transformation, to counter the culture of substance abuse that exist in the lives and families of many of those who live in Nicetown. In the course of this study we will look at contributing societal factors/issues that lead to substance abuse. This recovery program is based upon a steady, supervised diet of biblical studies, collaboration with other recovery ministries, related book resources, the methodology/teaching of Alcohol Anonymous (AA), and pastoral counseling.

Publication year: 2015

Degree date: 2015

ISBN: 9781339689678

Advisor: Goode, W. Wilson, Sr.

Committee member: Ragwan, Rodney

University/institution: Eastern University

Department: Ministry in Leadership of Missional Church Renewal

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