Journal of Drug Abuse Open Access

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An Investigation to the Mourning Process during Narcotic Addiction Recovery through Discourse Analysis

Elias Tamene*

Past research has suggested that religion and spirituality can increase the effectiveness of drug rehabilitation programs and reduce recidivism among addicts. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine the effects of the 12-Step program of Narcotics Anonymous (NA) to determine whether it helps with the mourning process. Narcotics Anonymous was selected on the basis of the program’s strong spiritual theme. The study sample included 37 African American participants, resulting in 149 narratives for analysis. Participants with short (0 to 6 months) and medium (7 to 12 months) recovery periods were compared using two instruments: the Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC) and the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM). The findings of this research indicated that spirituality has a positive influence on recovery from drug addiction, and that the 12-Step Program applied by NA is successful in helping members work through their feelings to mourn their separation with drugs and their old lifestyle.