Nav: Home

FSU study finds religious involvement does little to prevent opioid abuse

June 19, 2018

Does going to church help people avoid struggles with opioid abuse? New research from Florida State University says no.

In a new study published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, a team of researchers led by FSU Associate Professor Amy Burdette examined the correlation ¬-- or lack thereof -- between drug use and church attendance for women who are mothers. Researchers found while religious involvement could affect a person's decision to use illegal drugs, it had no signifcant effect on women's misuse of prescription drugs, including prescription opioids.

"Religious involvement matters for illegal drug use because religious communities directly condemn this behavior," Burdette said. "However, religious communities are just beginning to discuss the dangers of prescription drug abuse."

Specifically, researchers found the probability of engaging in any illicit drug use was significantly lower among women who attended church at least once a week compared to those who reported attending services a couple of times a year or less. This was also true for marijuana use.

Burdette's study used data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a survey of nearly 5,000 children born between 1998 and 2000 and mostly to unmarried parents. The study consisted of interviews with mothers and fathers at the time of their child's birth and again when children were ages 1, 3, 5, 9 and 15 years old. Burdette and her team examined the population of mothers who were primarily single and of low socioeconomic status.

Burdette noted that the relationship between parental substance abuse and adverse child outcomes is well established.

"Our findings regarding the effects of religious involvement on substance abuse have implications for health and well-being across generations," she said.

It is estimated that prescription opioid misuse costs the United States more than $55 billion in expenditures related to health care, lost productivity and criminal justice, according to a recent report from the Analysis Group, a financial and strategy consulting firm.

Overall, rates of substance abuse in the study sample were low.

"That's a bit of good news," Burdette said. "Whether you're talking about prescription drug misuse or illegal substance abuse, it's somewhat rare in our sample -- it's not that most mothers are doing this."

The study found about 5 percent of women reported misusing prescription drugs, with nearly 3 percent of those misusing prescription pain relievers.

"Our research suggests that church leaders may want to directly address the issue of prescription drug misuse as churchgoers may not view prescription drugs in the same way that they view illegal drugs, Burdette said. "Not directly addressing the issue may lead to a high degree of moral ambiguity."
-end-


Florida State University

Related Health Care Articles:

Large federal program aimed at providing better health care underfunds primary care
Despite a mandate to help patients make better-informed health care decisions, a ten-year research program established under the Affordable Care Act has funded a relatively small number of studies that examine primary care, the setting where the majority of patients in the US receive treatment.
International medical graduates care for Medicare patients with greater health care needs
A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital research team indicates that internal medicine physicians who are graduates of medical schools outside the US care for Medicare patients with more complex medical needs than those cared for by graduates of American medical schools.
The Lancet Global Health: Improved access to care not sufficient to improve health, as epidemic of poor quality care revealed
Of the 8.6 million deaths from conditions treatable by health care, poor-quality care is responsible for an estimated 5 million deaths per year -- more than deaths due to insufficient access to care (3.6 million) .
Under Affordable Care Act, Americans have had more preventive care for heart health
By reducing out-of-pocket costs for preventive treatment, the Affordable Care Act appears to have encouraged more people to have health screenings related to their cardiovascular health.
High-deductible health care plans curb both cost and usage, including preventive care
A team of researchers based at IUPUI has conducted the first systematic review of studies examining the relationship between high-deductible health care plans and the use of health care services.
More Health Care News and Health Care Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...