Spirituality and Substance Use among Adolescents

Spirituality and Substance Use among Adolescents

A new study published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence examined the association between substance use and stress among male and female high school students in relation to spirituality.  

Results indicated a positive association between stress and substance use among male and female students.  In addition, both male and female students who reported turning to spiritual beliefs when experiencing problems were less likely to use substances. 

The authors concluded that while stress may increase the propensity for substance use, spirituality might be a viable coping mechanism useful for helping adolescents adapt to stressful situations.  

Programs that integrate broad wellness promotion with substance use prevention are particularly useful in addressing the connection between spirituality and substance use among young people. 

First, research has shown the evidence-based InShape Prevention Plus Wellness Program for college students not only prevented and reduced alcohol and marijuana consumption and problems, but also increased spiritual health-related quality of life even a year later (https://preventionpluswellness.com/pages/published-research-evaluating-inshape-ppw). 

Second, the In God’s Image Program, founded on the evidence-based SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness Program, was specifically designed to integrate the promotion of physical and spiritual health with substance use prevention among youth (https://preventionpluswellness.com/pages/in-gods-image). 

The use of interventions that integrate spirituality and wellness promotion with substance use prevention are likely to have a positive effect on substance use both directly and indirectly through the moderating influence of spiritual beliefs and behaviors. 

Please like and share this important information with others in your region and state.  Thank you! 

Read the full study abstract: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10964-017-0687-3?wt_mc=alerts.TOCjournals

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