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Subst Abus. 2004 Sep;25(3):1-11.

Conceptual bases of Christian, faith-based substance abuse rehabilitation programs: qualitative analysis of staff interviews.

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Section of General Internal Medicine, Evans Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.


Faith-based substance abuse rehabilitation programs provide residential treatment for many substance abusers. To determine key governing concepts of such programs, we conducted semi-structured interviews with sample of eleven clinical and administrative staff referred to us by program directors at six, Evangelical Christian, faith-based, residential rehabilitation programs representing two large, nationwide networks. Qualitative analysis using grounded theory methods examined how spirituality is incorporated into treatment and elicited key theories of addiction and recovery. Although containing comprehensive secular components, the core activities are strongly rooted in a Christian belief system that informs their understanding of addiction and recovery and drives the treatment format. These governing conceptions, that addiction stems from attempts to fill a spiritual void through substance use and recovery through salvation and a long-term relationship with God, provide an explicit, theory-driven model upon which they base their core treatment activities. Knowledge of these core concepts and practices should be helpful to clinicians in considering referrals to faith-based recovery programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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