Positive Psychology and the Field of Addiction: A Proposal for a Culturally Relevant Framework

Annie Crookes

Abstract


Abstract: Positive psychology is an evidence based approach to wellbeing and flourishing that has been applied in many settings including clinical, health and educational psychology. There is growing evidence that positive psychology interventions (PPIs) significantly impact depression, anxiety and other mental health symptoms. PPIs can be self-initiated or done online increasing access to psychological support for populations who may not rely on traditional therapy. To date, there has been little systematic application of PPIs to the area of addiction treatment or prevention; yet, many lines of evidence suggest that positive psychology aligns with known factors that support recovery from substance use. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), an Islamic society with a diverse population of expatriate residents, substance abuse is recognized as a public health issue and the government does provide specialist rehabilitation centers alongside anti-drug campaigns in schools and universities. Despite such efforts, there is a cultural stigma not only against substance use, but discussion of mental health issues in general and psychological help-seeking. This paper reviews the evidence for PPIs in clinical and addiction settings, provides an overview of substance use data and addiction services in the UAE and neighboring nations, and argues that PPIs may provide an effective, acceptable framework for addiction treatment and prevention strategies.


Keywords


positive psychology interventions; addictions; Arab; culture; Islam; stigma; 12-step

Full Text:

PDF

References


Abou-Taleb, A. N. M., Musaiger, A., & Abdelmoneim, R. B. (1996). Health status of cement workers in the United Arab Emirates. Journal of the Royal Society of Health, 115(6), 378-381.

Abu-Ras, W., Ahmed, S., & Arfken, C. L. (2010). Alcohol use among U.S. Muslim college students: Risk and protective factors. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 9(3), 206-220.

Abu-Saleh, M. T., Ghubash, R., & Daradkeh, T. K. (2001). Al Ain community psychiatric survey. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 36, 20-28.

AlBlooshi, H., Hulse, G. K., ElKasher, A., AlHashmi, H., Al Ghaferi, H., Al Safar, H., & Tay, G. K. (2016). The pattern of substance use disorder in the United Arab Emirates in 2015: Results of a national rehabilitation centre cohort study. Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy, 11, 19.

Akhtar, M., & Boniwell, I. (2010). Applying positive psychology to alcohol-misusing adolescents: A group intervention. Groupwork: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Working with Groups, 20(3), 6–31.

Al-Darmaki, F. R. (2003). Attitudes towards seeking professional psychological help: What really counts for United Arab Emirates University students. Social Behavior and Personality, 31, 497-508.

Al-Darmaki, F. R. (2011). Problems and preferences for source of help among United Arab Emirates University students. International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, 33, 293-308.

Al Ghaferi, H. A., Ali, A. Y., Gawad, T. A., & Wanigaratne, S. (2017). Developing substance misuse services in the United Arab Emirates: The National Rehabilitation Center experience. British Journal of Psychiatry International, 14(4), 92-96.

Alhyas, L., Al Ozaibi, N., Elarabi, H., El-Kashef, A., Wanigaratne, S., Almarzouqi, A., … Al Ghaferi, H. (2015). Adolescents’ perception of substance use and factors influencing its use: A qualitative study in Abu Dhabi. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Open, 6(2), 1-12.

Ali Zain, A. (2012, December 8). Painkillers top list of prescription drug abuse. The Khaleej Times. Retrieved from https://www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/uae-health/expert-painkillers-top-list-of-prescription-drug-abuse

Al-Kandary, N., & Al-Waheeb, S. (2015). Patterns of accidental deaths in Kuwait: A retrospective descriptive study from 2003-2009. BMC Public Health, 15, 302.

Al-Marri, T. K., & Oei, T. S. (2009). Alcohol and substance use in the Arabian Gulf region: A review. International Journal of Psychology, 44(3), 222–233.

Al Ramahi, N. (2018, March 3). Children as young as 11 falling into drug abuse. The National. Retrieved from https://www.thenational.ae/uae/children-as-young-as-11-falling-into-drug-abuse-1.709725

Amir, T. (2001). Comparison of patterns of substance abuse in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Social Behavior and Personality, 29(6), 519-530.

Bliss, D. L. (2007). Empirical research on spirituality and alcoholism: A review of the literature. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 7(4), 5-25.

Bolier, L., Haverman, M., Westerhof, G. J., Riper, H., Smit, F., & Bohlmeijer, E. (2013). Positive psychology interventions: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies. BMC Public Health, 13, 119.

Branscum, P. (2010). Is Alcoholics Anonymous effective? Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 54(3), 3-6.

Bryant, F., & Veroff, J. (2007). Savoring: A new model of positive experience. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Burlingame, G. M., Fuhriman, A., & Mosier, J. (2003). The differential effectiveness of group psychotherapy: A meta-analytic perspective. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice, 7(1), 3-12.

Burton, C., & King, L. (2009). The health benefits of writing about positive experiences: The role of broadened cognition. Psychology & Health, 24(8), 867–879.

Casellas-Grau A., Font, A., & Vives, J. (2014). Positive psychology interventions in breast cancer. A systematic review. Psycho-Oncology, 23, 9-19.

Chakhssi, F., Kraiss, J. T., Sommers-Spijkerman, M., & Bohlmeijer, E. T. (2018). The effect of positive psychology interventions on well-being and distress in clinical samples with psychiatric or somatic disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Psychiatry, 18, 211.

Charzynska, E. (2015). Sex differences in spiritual coping forgiveness and gratitude before and after a basic alcohol addiction treatment program. Journal of Religious Health, 54, 1931-1949.

Chaves, C., Lopez-Gomez, I., Hervas, G., & Vazquez, C. (2017). A comparative study on the efficacy of a positive psychology intervention and a cognitive behavioral therapy for clinical depression. Cognitive Therapy Research, 41, 417-433.

Christensen, H., Griffiths, K. M., & Farrer, L. (2009). Adherence in Internet interventions for anxiety and depression: A systematic review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 11(2), e13.

Christensen, H., Griffiths, K., Groves, C., & Korten, A. (2006). Free range users and one hit wonders: Community users of an Internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy program. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 40, 59–62.

Davis, D. E., Worthington, E. L., & Hook, J. N. (2013). Research on religion/spirituality and forgiveness: A meta-analytic review. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 5(4), 233-241.

Diener, E., Fujita, F., Tay, L., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2012). Purpose, mood, and pleasure in prediction satisfaction judgments. Social Indicators Research, 105, 333–341.

Doran, C. A. (2016). Preliminary estimates of the economic implications of addiction in the United Arab Emirates. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 22(10), 749-755.

Dunn, E. W., Ashton-James, C. E., Hanson, M. D., & Aknin, L. B. (2010). On the costs of self-interested economic behavior: How does stinginess get under the skin? Journal of Health Psychology, 15(4), 627–633.

Eckersley, R. (2005). Is modern western culture a health hazard? International Journal of Epidemiology, 35, 252-258.

El Arabi, H., Al Hamedi, F., Salas, S., & Wanigaratne, S. (2013). Rapid analysis if knowledge, attitudes and practices towards substance addiction across different target groups in Abu Dhabi city, UAE. International Journal of Prevention and treatment of Substance Use Disorders, 1, 76-88.

Galanter, M. (2007). Spirituality and recovery in 12-step programs: An empirical model. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 33, 265-272.

Gander, F., Proyer, R. T., & Ruch, W. (2016). Positive psychology interventions addressing pleasure, engagement, meaning, positive relationships and accomplishment increase well being and ameliorate depressive symptoms: A randomized placebo-controlled online study. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 686.

Ghandour, L., Chalak, A., El-Aily, A., Yassin, N., Nakkash, R., Tauk, M., … Afifi, R. (2016). Alcohol consumption in the Arab region: What do we know, why does it matter and what are the policy implications for youth harm reduction? International Journal of Drug Policy, 28, 10-33.

Ghubash, R., & El-Rufaie, O. (1997). Psychiatric morbidity among sentenced male prisoners in Dubai: Transcultural perspectives. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 8(2), 440-446.

Gilbert, P. (2010). Compassion focused therapy: Distinctive features. New York, NY: Routledge/ Taylor & Francis.

Harris, A. H. S., Thoresen, C. E., & Lopez, S. J. (2007). Integrating positive psychology into counseling: Why and (when appropriate) how. Journal of Counseling and Development, 85, 3-13.

Heath, P. J., Vogel, D. L., & Al-Darmaki, F. (2016). Help-seeking attitudes of the United Arab Emirates students: Examining loss of face, stigma and self-disclosure. The Counseling Psychologist, 44(3), 331-352.

Hendriks, T., Schotanus-Dijkstra, M., Hassankhan, A., Graafsma, T., Bohlmeijer, E., & de Jong, J, (2018). The efficacy of positive psychology interventions from non-Western countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Wellbeing, 8(1), 71-98.

Humensky, J. L. (2010). Are adolescents with high socioeconomic status more likely to engage in alcohol and illicit drug use in early adulthood? Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy, 5, 19.

Huynh, K. H., Hall, B., Hurst, M. A., & Bikos, L. H. (2015). Evaluation of the positive re-entry in corrections program: A positive psychology intervention with prison inmates. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 59(9), 1006-1023.

Jackson, S., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1999). Flow in sports: The keys to optimal experiences and performances. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

James, C. (2013). Drug prevention programmes in schools: What is the evidence? Retrieved from https://mentoruk.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2017/07/drug-prevention-final-2011-2013.pdf

Jansen, J. E., Gleeson, J., Bendall, S., Alcazar-Corcoles, M. A., Rice, M. A., Simonsen E., … Alvarez-Jimenez, M. (2016). Promoting flourishing in persons with psychosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of positive psychology interventions. Presentation at the IEPA 10th International Conference on Early Intervention in Mental Health, Milan. Retrieved from https://www.regionsjaelland.dk/sundhed/geo/psykiatrien/om_psykiatrien/psykiatrisk-forskningsenhed/afholdte-arrangementer/Documents/Jens%20Einar1_PositivePsychology_Poster_forskningsdagen021115.pdf

Kahler, C. W., Spillane, N. S., Day, A., Clerkin, E., Parks, A., Levanthal, A. M., & Brown, R.A. (2014). Positive psychotherapy for smoking cessation: Treatment development, feasibility and preliminary results. Journal of Positive Psychology, 9(1), 19-29.

Kelly, J. F. (2016). Is Alcoholics Anonymous religious, spiritual, neither? Findings from 25 years of mechanisms of behavior change research. Addiction, 112, 929-936.

Kelly, J. F., Stout, R. L., Magill, M., Tonigan, J. S., & Pagano, M. E. (2010). Spirituality in recovery: A lagged meditational analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous principal theoretical mechanism of behavior change. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 35(3), 454-463.

Khazaei, F., Khazaei, O., & Ghanbari, H. B. (2017). Positive psychology interventions for internet addiction treatment. Computers in Human Behavior, 72, 304-311.

Krentzman, A. R. (2013). Review of the application of positive psychology to substance use, addiction and recovery research. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27(1), 151-165.

Krentzman, A. R. (2017). Gratitude, abstinence, and alcohol use disorders: Report of a preliminary finding. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 78, 30-36.

Krentzman, A. R., Strobbe, S., Harris, J. L.,& Robinson, E. A. R. (2017). Decreased drinking and Alcoholics Anonymous are associated with different dimensions of spirituality. Psychology, Religion, Spirituality, 9(Suppl 1), S40-48.

Kwok, S. Y. C. L., Gul, M., & Kit, K. T. K. (2016). Positive psychology intervention to alleviate child depression and increase life satisfaction: A randomized clinical trial. Research on Social Work Practice, 26(4), 350-361.

Lambert, L., & Pasha-Zaidi, N. (Eds.). (in press). Positive psychology in the Middle East/North Africa: Research, policy, and practise. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

Lambert, L., Pasha-Zaidi, N., Passmore, H. A., & York-Al-Karam, C. (2015). Developing an indigenous positive psychology in the United Arab Emirates. Middle East Journal of Positive Psychology, 1(1), 1-23.

Lambert D’Raven L., & Pasha-Zaidi N. (2014). Positive psychology interventions: A review for counseling practitioners. Canadian Journal of Counseling Psychotherapy, 48(4), 383-408.

Lin, W., Mack, D., Enright, R. D., Krahn, D., & Baskin, T. W. (2004). Effects of forgiveness therapy on anger, mood and vulnerability to substance use among inpatient substance-dependent clients. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72(6), 1114-1121.

Linley, P. A. (2006). Counseling psychology’s positive psychological agenda: A model for integration and inspiration. Counseling Psychologist, 34, 313–322.

Lyons, G. C., Deane, F. P., & Kelly, P. J. (2010). Forgiveness and purpose in life as spiritual mechanisms of recovery from substance use disorders. Addiction Research and Theory, 18(5), 528-543.

Nikharan, G. R., Suarez, L., Asgari, K., Beach, S. R., Celano, C. M., Kalantari, M., … Huffman, J. C. (2016). Positive psychology interventions for patients with heart disease: A preliminary randomized trial. Psychosomatics, 57, 348-358.

Norrish, J. M., Williams, P., O’Connor, M., & Robinson, J. (2013). An applied framework for positive education. International Journal of Wellbeing, 3(2), 147-161.

Onrust, S. A., Otten R., Lammers J., & Smit F. (2016). School based programmes to reduce and prevent substance use in different age groups: What works for whom? Systematic review and meta regression analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 44, 45-59.

Otake, K., Shimai, S., Tanaka-Matsumi, J., Otsui, K., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2006). Happy people become happier through kindness: A counting kindnesses intervention. Journal of Happiness Studies, 7(3), 361–375.

Parks, A. C., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2014). Positive interventions: Past, present and future. In T. Kashdan & J. Ciarrochi (Eds.), Mindfulness, acceptance, and positive psychology: The seven foundations of well-being (pp. 140–165). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Park, N., Peterson, C., Szvarca, D., Vander Molen, R. J., Kim, E. S., & Collon, K. (2014). Positive psychology and physical health: Research and applications. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 10(3), 200-206.

Peterson, C., Park, N., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2005). Assessment of character strengths. In G. P. Koocher, J. C. Norcross, & S. S. Hill III (Eds.), Psychologists’ desk reference (2nd ed., pp. 93–98). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Peterson, C., Ruch, W., Beermann, U., Park, N., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2007). Strengths of character, orientations to happiness, and life satisfaction. Journal of Positive Psychology, 2(3), 149–156.

Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Proyer, R. T., Gander, F., Wellenzohn, S., & Ruch, W. (2014). Positive psychology interventions in people aged 50-79 years: Long term effects of placebo-controlled online interventions on wellbeing and depression. Aging and Mental Health, 18(8), 997-1005.

Randles, D., & Tracy, J. L. (2013). Nonverbal displays of shame predict relapse and declining health in recovering alcoholics. Clinical Psychological Science, 1(2), 149-155.

Rashid, T. (2009). Positive interventions in clinical practice. Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session, 65(5), 461-466.

Rashid, T., & Al-Haj Baddar, M. K. (in press). Positive psychotherapy: Clinical and cross-cultural applications of positive psychology. In L. Lambert, & N. Pasha-Zaidi (Eds.), Positive psychology in the Middle East/North Africa: Research, policy, and practise. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

Robins, P. (2014). Narcotic drugs in Dubai: Lurking in the shadows. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 41(2), 151-166.

Sarhan, H. A. S. (1995). Drug abuse in the United Arab Emirates. PhD thesis, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Scherer, M., Worthington, E. L., Hook, J. N., & Campana, K. L. (2011). Forgiveness and the bottle: Promoting self-forgiveness in individuals who abuse alcohol. Journal of Addiction Disorders, 30(4), 382-395.

Schueller, S. M., & Parks A. C. (2014). The science of self-help: Translating positive psychology research into increased individual happiness. European Psychologist, 19(2), 145-155.

Seligman, M. E. P. (2008). Positive health. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 57, 3-18.

Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and wellbeing. New York, NY: Free Press.

Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 5-14.

Seligman, M. E. P., Peterson, C., Barsky, A. J., Boehm, J. K., Kubzansky, L. D., Park, N., & Labarthe, D. (2010). Positive health and health assets: Re-analysis of longitudinal data sets. University of Pennsylvania, White Paper. Retrieved from http://www.sas.upenn.edu/psych/seligman/positivehealthassetspub.pdf

Seligman, M. E. P., Rashid, T., & Parks, A. (2006). Positive psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 61(8), 774–788.

Seligman, M. E. P., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology in progress. Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60, 410–421.

Selvam, S. G. (2015). Positive psychology’s character strengths in addiction-spirituality research: A qualitative systematic literature review. The Qualitative Report, 20(4), 376-405.

Shapira, L. B., & Mongrain, M. (2010). The benefits of self-compassion and optimism exercises for individuals vulnerable to depression. Journal of Positive Psychology, 5, 377–389.

Sin N. L., & Lyumbormisky, S. (2009). Enhancing well-being alleviating depressive symptoms with positive psychology interventions: A practice friendly meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 65(5), 467-487.

Stone, A. L., Becker, L. G., Huber, A. M., & Catalano, R. F. (2012). Review of risk and protective factors of substance use and problem use in emerging adulthood. Addictive Behaviors, 37, 747-775.

Sussman, S. (2013). A lifespan developmental stage approach to tobacco and other drug abuse prevention. ISRN Addiction, Article ID745783.

Thomas, B. (2014, May 17). UAE drinkers consume almost double global alcohol average. ArabianBusiness.com. Retrieved from https://www.arabianbusiness.com/uae-drinkers-consume-almost-double-global-alcohol-average-550467.html

Thompson, G. R. (2016). Meaning therapy for addictions: A case study. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 56(5), 457-482.

Timko, C., Halvorson, M., & Moos, R. H. (2015). Social processes explaining the benefits of Al-Anon participation. Psychology Addictive Behavior, 29(4), 856-863.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) (2017). World Drug Report 2017. United Nations Publication, No. E.17.XI.6. Retrieved from https://www.unodc.org/wdr2017/index.html

Warren, F. (2016). What works in drug education and prevention? Health and Social Care Analysis, Scottish Government. Retrieved from http://www.edex.es/wp-content/uploads/What-works-in-prevention.pdf

Webb, J. R., Hirsch, J. K., & Toussaint, L. (2015). Forgiveness as a positive psychotherapy for addiction and suicide: Theory, research and practice. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 2(1), 48-60.

Whiteford, H. A., Degenhardt, L., Rehm, J., Bazter, A. J., Ferrari A. J., Erskine, H. E., … Vos, T. (2013). Global Burden of disease attributable to mental and substance use disorders: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease study 2010. The Lancet, 382, 1575-1586.

Witkiewitz, K., McCallion, E., & Kirouac, M. (2016). Religious affiliation and spiritual practices: An examination of the role of spirituality in alcohol use disorder. Alcohol Research, 38(1), 55-58.

Wong, P. T. P., & Roy, S. (2018). Critique of positive psychology and positive interventions. In N. J. L. Brown, T. Lomas, & F. J. Eiroa-Orosa (Eds.), Routledge international handbooks. The Routledge international handbook of critical positive psychology (pp. 142-160). New York, NY, US: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Wood, A., Froh, J., & Geraghty, A. (2010). Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(7), 890–905

Wood, A. M., & Tarrier, N. (2010). Positive clinical psychology: A new vision and strategy for integrated research and practice. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(7), 819–829.

Woodworth, R. J., O’Brien-Malone, A., Diamond, M. R., & Schulz, B. (2017). Web-based positive psychology interventions: A reexamination of effectiveness. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 73(3), 218-232.

World Health Organisation (WHO) (2014). Global status report on alcohol and health. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/en/

Yalom, I. D., & Leszcz, M. (2005). The theory and practice of group psychotherapy (5th ed.) New York, USA: Basic Books.

Younis, Y. O., & Saad, A. G. (1995). A profile of alcohol and drug misusers in an Arab community. Addiction, 90(12), 1683-1684.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2018 Annie Crookes