22 Mar Protective Factors against Alcohol and Drug Abuse
What is a “protective factor”?
In the context of substance abuse and treatment, a “protective factor” reduces the likelihood of an individual to initiate drug and alcohol abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the following have been identified as protective factors against substance abuse. The domains listed next to each factor indicate the setting where interventions occur:
• Parental monitoring (family domain)
• Academic competence (peer domain)
• Strong neighborhood attachment (community domain)
• Anti-drug use policies (school domain)
• Self-control (individual domain)
In an article published in The Iranian Journal of Public Health, religion is also identified as a preventive factor against alcohol and drug abuse. The values espoused across the broad spectrum of religions like Islam, Christianity and Buddhism all share one thing in common: self-control. These protective factors also play a significant role in relapse prevention after treatment.
Is spiritual therapy part of substance abuse treatment?
At the discretion of the primary therapist, the subject of spiritual therapy may come up if the therapist deems it appropriate. For example, during the initial assessment, if a client expresses some type of faith in a religion, the therapist will take that into consideration and may recommend it at some point during the treatment program.
Spiritual therapy cannot be underestimated. The Substance Abuse Mental Health and Administration (SAMHSA) lists spiritual wellness as one of the eight dimensions that transform one’s physical and mental health.
It takes a village to achieve meaningful, lifelong recovery
Even within various religions, the community domain is evident among those who subscribe to a certain belief system: Buddhists have their temples, Muslims have their mosques and Christians have their churches.
What about those who don’t subscribe to any religion at all? Strong alumni communities like New Method Wellness’s Extended Care program provide a tight-knit, safe sense of belonging for individuals who are brought together for one mission in life: to achieve and sustain long-term, meaningful recovery. Every single person who graduates from a residential treatment or intensive-outpatient program has worked extremely hard to reach this point in their recovery; the new friendships they formed during their treatment program will serve as key relationships that will help them stay on the right track, whether those relationships are with peers in the program or their substance abuse counselors. In the Extended Care program, fun activities are planned on a regular basis which gives graduates an opportunity to meet others and give back to the recovery community.
To learn more, call 866.951.1824 to speak with an Outreach Coordinator!