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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport eTheses
Title: Following Ariadne's thread: a qualitative exploration of the relevance of spirituality in experiences of problem substance use and of spiritual engagement in processes of recovery, with particular reference to the experience of men living in Scotland
Author(s): Fuller, Nicholas William
Supervisor(s): Parkes, Tessa
Cunningham, Nicola
Keywords: Spirituality
Problem Substance Use
Addiction Recovery
Issue Date: 29-Nov-2019
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Aims This study explored the relevance of spirituality to experiences of drug and alcohol addiction and recovery from addiction with specific reference to the experience of men in long-term recovery living in Scotland. Methods The study consisted of two phases. Phase One involved thematic analysis of interviews with individuals representing diverse standpoints. Phase Two involved Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis of interviews with men in recovery who identified spirituality as important to their process. Findings Phase One data provided an overview of the issues underpinning spirituality and addiction recovery and generated five superordinate themes: The Spiritual Quest; Addiction Narratives: from initiation to rock bottom; I Have My Life Back: the road to recovery; Supporting Recovery and Delivering Treatment; and The Spiritual Journey of Recovery. Phase Two described personal accounts from addiction to recovery via various spiritual paths and generated three superordinate themes: Myths and Archetypes; Darkness and Light; and Lessons for Recovery. This phase was also associated with development of a novel shamanically-informed adjunct to the qualitative data analysis. Spirituality also facilitated self-awareness, reflexivity and gender identity among study participants. These findings informed the development of a novel labyrinth model which reflects the inner journey of recovery. Conclusions For the participants of this study, spirituality formed an important dimension of addiction recovery. Concepts of spirituality that emerged were typically eclectic and characterised by deepening spiritual awareness and connection with self, others, nature and (a) higher power. While Scotland faces an epidemic of drug-related deaths, especially among older men from the most deprived communities, study findings suggest that spirituality may provide a protective function by enhancing hope, meaning and purpose. Practice and policy implications include raising awareness of the relevance of spirituality, embedding spirituality within addiction recovery programmes, and reducing barriers to spiritually informed interventions for people in recovery.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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