Spiritual injuries and substance abuse: implications for pastoral care
Jack R Klugh
This study examined the relationship between spiritual wounds and substance abuse in VA Medical Center substance abuse treatment patients. Patients were administered the Berg Computerized Spiritual Assessment (BCSA) and the Addiction Severity Index (ASI). The data were analyzed with hierarchical multiple regression analysis using Spiritual Injury scores to predict addiction severity ratings. Results show associations between spiritual injuries and severity of alcohol ratings were strongest for psychological ratings. Injuries most strongly related to psychological ratings were "life has no meaning" and "worry about death." This study developed a practical pastoral theological framework in which clinical pastoral caregivers can articulate a scope of practice and identity. Particular attention was paid to articulating a theological anthropology that acknowledges a holistic nature of human experience.
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