Spirituality and Substance Abuse Recovery

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Introduction According to the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and the transtheoretical model of change, “for most people with substance abuse problems, recurrence of substance use is the rule not the exception” (Enhancing Motivation for Change, 1999, p. xvii). Relapse can and most likely will occur in recovery, and should be recognized as well as anticipated by substance abuse recovery counselors. The significant challenges to counselors are bringing a client successfully and securely through a relapse and eventually preventing relapse from occurring at all. For many, helping a client find faith in a higher power is an essential piece of the puzzle for overcoming addiction. In research collaborated by Laudet, Morgan and White, there are three stages of recovery for those with the disease of addiction: early recovery, middle recovery and late recovery (2006, p. 36). In early recovery, staying clean is the main focus. Every day thoughts revolve around simply making it through the day without using. This stage, lasting one to three years, can be the most difficult, and is most likely the area when relapse is most frequent as clients find it easier to simply use than to fight the urge. The second stage that occurs in regaining sobriety is middle recovery. Here, a client may be asking themselves “what do I do now?” It is common for a client to come to seek recovery after hitting rock bottom. This rapid decline often entails homelessness, unemployment, estrangement from family and friends as well as health concerns; very overwhelming realities that may weigh heavy on a client’s mind, and may be more of a burden than can be held.. Here again is an area that counselors should be aware of relapse. Clients may falter in... ... middle of paper ... ... of Substance Use, 16(4), 313-329. Parker, S. (2009, March 5). Spirituality in counseling: a faith development perspective. Journal of Counseling and Development, 89, 112-119. Senreich, E. (2013). An inclusive definition of spirituality for social work education and practice. Journal of Social Work Education, 49, 548-563. Sterling, R. C., Weinstein, S., Losardo, D., Raively, K., Hill, P., Petrone, A., & Gottheil, E. (2007). A retrospective case control study of alcohol relapse and spiritual growth. The American Journal of Addictions, 16, 56-61. Weiss, K. R., & Sias, S. M. (2011, October). As integrative spiritual development model of supervision for substance abuse counselors-in-training. Journal of Addictions & Offender Counseling, 32, 84-96. Wilson, W. G., & Parkhurst, H. (1939). Alcoholics Anonymous (4 ed.). New York, NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

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