Addiction studies are where the newest treatments begin, and you can always learn a little more.
Think of the last science fiction movie you watched — were the scientists wearing sterile lab coats and obsessing over their bubbling beakers? Think again. Who researchers today are, and what they do, look a little different.
Especially in addiction studies, scientists test and learn things you might not expect. Researchers do all they can to understand why we become addicted and why we often can’t stop. Their findings then inform the actions of lawmakers, hospitals, rehab clinics and even emergency responders. Addiction research matters. Why? Because it highlights and explains the patterns which authorities use to make improved policies. Well-done research can make white lab coats seem a little more like the capes that superheroes wear.
In honor of how solid research helps us better understand addiction and recovery, here are four studies you might want to know about.
1. “The Experience of Addiction as Told by the Addict: Incorporating Biological Understandings into Self-Story” (2012)
This study from researchers Rachel R. Hammer, Molly J. Dingel, Jenny E. Ostergren, Katherine E. Nowakowski and Barbara A. Koenig asks how those addicted see their addictions, and if their view matches scientists’ formal theories. Many addicts explain their addictions differently. Here’s the trick: that doesn’t matter. Why not? Treatment centers often help recovery through “narrative therapy,” where you imagine and then live out the most empowered version of yourself. However the center tells the story of addiction likely informs how you tell your own.
2. “Integrated value-based intervention for opioid de-addiction: Introduction and rationale” (2015)
The researchers Gagandeep Kaur and Senthil Kumaran J. from Lovely University (India) introduced their new idea for recovery psychotherapy: “value based psychotherapeutic intervention.” Look past the jargon and find something inventive, though. They suggest that if you’re addicted to opioids, a combined treatment plan of religious chants, yoga exercise and comprehensive counseling will best prepare you for long-term recovery. These three things, the researchers claim, prepare you to decrease dependency and resist relapse. All that’s needed to test their hypothesis is a group of research volunteers who have detoxed and can give 48 days to the program.
3. “Relationship Between Religious Attitude and Mental Health of Addicts” (2016)
Another study of religious recovery? Six Iranian researchers, including Roghieh Nooripour, Seyed Abbas Tavaeli and Simin Hosseinian, presented their findings of a religious attitude-to-mental health relationship to a Romanian psychology journal. Namely, they suggest a link between religious beliefs and improved mental framework for addiction recovery. Their work builds on other studies’ findings of a wellbeing-to-religious attitude link, but no one’s calling it absolute. This study involved only men in Qazvin, and most of them suffered from opium addiction — it’ll be tricky to generalize their findings.
Is There a Point?
Research helps us decide how we’ll treat addiction and recovery in the future. You might’ve guessed, but the studies themselves can get dense. They aren’t light reading. But they can help you learn what today’s experts understand about addiction and recovery.
So give them a try, if you like. And if not addiction studies, read through our quick-glance articles that sum up addiction stats, recovery books, and ongoing addiction news. Our job at In the Rooms is to make addiction resources accessible for everyone who needs them.
And by the way, the best resource is community. Grow yours at In the Rooms.