Who is in control? how women in a halfway house use faith to recover from drug addiction

Academic Article


  • Religious adherents from most major faith traditions struggle in balancing their individual agency with divine leadership. While this issue of individual versus divine control is complex for those in free society, it becomes even more so when applied to those in correctional and treatment settings. For those attempting to recover from drug addiction, a common conclusion is that drugs have taken control of their lives, thus it is necessary for them to reclaim control. Via a narrative analysis of semi-structured interviews with 30 former drug addicts residing in a faith-based halfway house for women, we explore how the women make sense of losing control of their lives due to their drug use, but then being taught to regain control by surrendering to a higher power. We find strong evidence of Deferring and Collaborative religious coping styles and these coping styles structure how the women discuss the future and their strategies for success. © 2014 by the author; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Published In

  • Religions  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 19223077
  • Author List

  • Kerley KR; Deitzer JR; Leban L
  • Start Page

  • 852
  • End Page

  • 870
  • Volume

  • 5
  • Issue

  • 3