Relationship between addiction and religion

relationship between addiction and religion

To begin our journey through drugs and devotion, let's compare religiosity and states match the inverse relationship between religious beliefs and drug use. As with chemical addictions, process addictions can lead to destroyed relationships and finances, feelings of withdrawal, and even changes to. Journal of Addictions Nursing: October/December - Volume 24 - Issue 4 the relationship between spirituality or religion and substance abuse recovery.

The data for our religion map come from Pew Research Center, which, as part of its Religious Landscape Study, compiled a ranking of which states were the most and least religious in For instance, Mississippi was second for religiosity in and 50th second to bottom for drug use. Likewise, Alabama was first for religiosity and 46th for drug use. Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Alaska all also appeared in the bottom 10 for religiosity and top 10 for drug use, indicating that there might be an inverse relationship between the two variables: The chart above plots past month illicit drug use on the vertical axis and religiosity on the horizontal axis, and is divided into four quadrants, each one representing a different combination of religiosity and drug use.

Furthermore, each state has been color-coded to show its Census region, so that at a glance we can see which states match the inverse relationship between religious beliefs and drug use that was hinted at by our maps. It does appear that there could be some correlation, but that might be all it is. After all, a lot more than religion differentiates Alabama and Vermont, including obesity rates, political affiliations, climate, sports teams, and so on. We, therefore, need to get a lot more specific.

We need to directly compare the drug-use rates of believers and nonbelievers, regardless of where they live. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health is conducted once a year to track how people across the country have been using drugs. Alongside the questions about illicit drugs and alcohol, the survey — which includes about 70, respondents — also asks a host of questions on topics like well-being, education, and employment.

If they strongly disagreed, we classed them as nonreligious. We were then able to compare lots of other variables against the religious and nonreligious groups, such as the one above: The graph shows the past year rates red and blue lines on the right Y-axis and the difference between the religious and nonreligious rates purple bars. Right away, we can see that across all substances, the nonreligious group has higher past year usage rates.

relationship between addiction and religion

But the gaps between the rates differ a lot depending on the drug type. Cigarettes and alcohol the two legal substances show the smallest gaps. These gaps, while significant, pale in comparison to the substances at the other end of the chart, like LSD, which was used by 1. Across all illicit drugs, the nonreligious respondents had a past year usage rate that was almost three times higher than the religious respondents.

But when they do take them, do the faithful start at the same age? Religious people first try eight of the 10 substances shown above later in life than their nonreligious counterparts.

And the two substances that they do try earlier, LSD and ecstasy, only show small differences 0. Another students were excluded from the data analysis because they did not answer questions about the frequency of their attendance at religious services.

The final sample included 12, university students. Groups Of the total sample of university students, This merging of categories was performed after the researchers ensured that there were no differences in alcohol or other drug use between the members of the two original groups. The responses were analyzed for consistency, and the database was checked.

Drugs and Devotion -

All of the estimates were weighted using sampling weights to represent the entire university student population in Brazil. Descriptive and inferential analyses were carried out using the R library survey software, 2. For numerical variables, intergroup comparisons were performed using a T-test. Subsequently, to verify the influence of religious involvement on drug use, the researchers developed individual multivariate logistic regression models for the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and at least one illicit drug marijuana included in the last 30 days.

In addition to religiosity FR and NFRother sociodemographic variables gender, marital status, ethnicity, socioeconomic status SESand Brazilian administrative region were included as covariates in each of the models. The final models for each of the drugs are described in detail in the results section. Results Eighty-five percent of Brazilian university students reported some religious affiliation.

Among these students, Catholicism was the most frequently cited religion Evangelical students were the most observant, attending religious services the most frequently Table 2 shows the sociodemographic data that were associated with the frequency of attendance at religious services.

relationship between addiction and religion

Religious involvement was less common among white, single, and male students with high SES. There were no differences between the FR and NFR groups in terms of the places they go besides the places where required academic activities take place. Thus, student unions, sports facilities, canteens and parks were equally frequented by the FR and NFR students.

There were no differences between the groups in employment. Therefore, we measured the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and at least one illicit drug marijuana included in the last 30 days. Over the last 12 months, The same findings were identified for drug use in the last 30 days. It is worth noting that Overall, religiosity remained in all of the logistic regression models for which day drug use was the outcome variable.

Not attending religious services was associated with drug use. The odds ratios for tobacco, marijuana and other drugs were 2. Students between 18 and 34 years of age were more likely to have used alcohol and other drugs in the last 30 days than students younger than 18 years.

The students from SES class A were more likely to have engaged in alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drug use in the last 30 days than the students from SES classes B and C. Finally, the students from southern Brazil were more likely to have used alcohol, tobacco and other drugs than the students from northern Brazil.

The distribution of the students' religions resembled the distribution of religions in the general Brazilian population, although there were some differences. In the most recent Brazilian census,27 The percentage of university students with no religious affiliation was twice the percentage of Brazilians in the general population with no religious affiliation.

On the other hand, our findings are consistent with other studies of university students.

The differences between university students and the general population may be explained by differences in the age distribution. A multivariate analysis of recent survey data from a representative sample of the Brazilian population found that religious involvement was not associated with income and educational level but that religious involvement was more frequent among females and older people. In general, these findings are consistent with other regional Brazilian studies. In addition, the protective effect of religion was observed for alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other illicit drugs, consistent with a recent meta-analysis,30 regardless of how religiosity is defined.

However, some religions may be more protective than other religions. Our findings showed that Protestant students attended religious services more often than students from other religions, with the exception of Spiritists and Buddhists. This finding is consistent with other studies. Moreover, Protestants were not likely to be excessive drinkers, suggesting that more conservative religions are more protective against alcohol use. Although the protective role of religion is known, the mechanism by which it confers protection has not been elucidated.

Some authors have suggested that religious teachings may be protective by exercising a direct influence on family structure or on an individual's personality or through instilling the values of respect and the sanctity of life. Among university students, the enhancement of spiritual well-being seems to be one of the intermediate factors in the relationship between religiosity and alcohol use.

Therefore, these studies may suggest that religiosity contributes to better quality of life among university students. The other students displayed more non-normative behaviors that may be risky under some circumstances. Religiosity may induce healthy and pro-social values and behaviors, protecting students from health-jeopardizing behaviors including drug use and improving the quality of life.

However, this statement is only speculative, it was not supported by our findings. The mediators of the effect of religiosity on the health of university students are still unclear and warrant further study. Higher socioeconomic status was actually found to be a factor for drug usage, not a protective factor.

Thus, having a higher socioeconomic status increased one's odds of having engaged in drug use over the last 30 days.

This relationship was also found by Silva et al. On the other hand, the university students of lower socioeconomic status reported less alcohol and drug use. The same relationship was also described among Brazilian adolescents. This relationship deserves further study, especially as it relates to religiosity.

Our research has limitations, but the findings are encouraging. There continues to be an enormous unmet need for drug use prevention and treatment, particularly in developing countries. The results of our study may help to draft and update clinical practices in the field of alcohol and drug use in Brazil and to develop public policies for university students. Investigating these relationships among university students would be of great value, as they are the subgroup that uses drugs most frequently.

Moreover, it is possible that encouraging university students to improve their spiritual health may help to alleviate the potentially deadly consequences of alcohol and drug use. Finally, religiosity may be incorporated into interventions to reduce risky sexual behaviors, as the effects of religiosity on these behaviors have also been suggested.

Limitations This study has some limitations. The cross-sectional design limited our ability to assess a causal relationship between religiosity and substance use. The data were mainly student-reported, and the students may have under- or overestimated their alcohol and drug use. Finally, psychiatric comorbidities were not evaluated, and it is important to understand how they may interfere with the relationships evaluated.

The findings reported here might not be generalizable to the entire population of Brazilian students. Conclusion To our knowledge, our study is the first to show that religious involvement is a protective factor against drug use in a nationwide sample of Brazilian university students. This finding corroborates the studies that have been conducted in other countries and expands on the existing data from regional studies in Brazil.

Perhaps religious involvement is a protective factor because it promotes meaning and the adoption of normative values and behaviors for a healthy life. However, the mechanism is still unclear. Because religious involvement has emerged as a strong and consistent protective factor against drug use, investigating the "active ingredients" that enable religious involvement to prevent drug use will be a very important task for future studies.

This research has the potential to identify targets for prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation strategies. In addition, religious communities may be mobilized for public health interventions regarding substance use, as preliminary studies have shown positive outcomes for health interventions provided by faith-based organizations.

Some of these initiatives have started in Brazil e. Finally, another issue that deserves further investigation is the impact of therapeutic communities run by religious groups in Brazil, which are attended by thousands of patients with substance dependence. In summary, as religious involvement has consistently emerged as one of the strongest protective factors against drug use, the current challenge is to identify the mechanisms behind this relationship and to develop public health strategies that use this knowledge to decrease drug use.

Global status report on alcohol and health. World Health Organization; Global Status Report on Alcohol. Potential exposure to anti-drug advertising and drug-related attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors among United States youth, Religiosity as a protective factor against the use of drugs. Religiosity and decreased risk of substance use disorders: