You*d Think The Spiritual Element in AA Would Help Addicts More than a Secular TreatmentSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

You*d Think The Spiritual Element in AA Would Help Addicts More than a Secular Treatment
 


4 February 2009 at 4:33:23 PM
salon

You would be wrong.

Because of the enduring popularity of AA and similar programs that involve a spiritual component, Miller and his team expected the patients in the spiritual group to do better than those in the secular group. They were wrong — at least in the short term.

While both groups eventually benefited relatively equally from their treatment — abusing substances on fewer days — it took longer to see improvement among those in the spiritual group. What's more, those who received spiritual guidance reported being significantly more anxious and depressed after four months than those who got secular help. Those problems abated at about the eight-month point, but because substance abusers are at high risk for suicide, some worry that it may not be a good idea to put them through demanding spiritual calisthenics in the early months of their recovery....

This study amplifies a fascinating paper Miller co-authored in 1997, which found that patients who reported knowing that someone was praying for them used significantly more substances after leaving treatment than those who didn't know someone was praying for them. Taken together, Miller's studies suggest that spirituality can be demanding — even when others are being spiritual on your behalf — and that many addicts may simply not be up to the pressure.

Not sure it's the same prayer experiement, but we referenced another one last year.


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