Recovery from drug dependence : experiences of service users in a Christian faith-based agency
Jinadu, Comfort Ablavi
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Research in the field of drug dependence and recovery emphasises the need for more understanding of the concept of recovery from dependent drug use. This study explored the ways in which dependent drug users recover from drug dependency in a Christian faith-based agency in Lagos, Nigeria. The strategy employed was a qualitative research design using a case study approach. Instruments for data collection were qualitative interviews and observation methods; agency records were also accessed for background information purposes. Three stages of the recovery process were explored: motivation for recovery, disengagement from drugs and maintenance of recovery. In each of these stages, psychological, socio-environmental and spiritual elements were identified as significant factors in the recovery process. The offer of treatment from a Christian faith-based agency seemed to be the most important factor in motivating informants to engage in treatment in the first place. At the disengagement stage, psychological and socio-environmental issues came to the fore, with a personal commitment to change and support from significant others including peers becoming important. Spiritual factors played a significant part at this time, however, including teaching and Bible reviews and prayers. Maintenance of recovery was found to be facilitated by psychological strategies such as positive self-talk and avoidance of triggers of drug dependency; by socio-environmental factors including supportive relationships; and by spiritual elements, which centred on the adoption of a Christian lifestyle. The findings conclude that although recovery from drug dependence is achieved through various routes, the most significant factor for the informants in this study was the spiritual intervention received.