School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Jason Ward


Recovery, addiction, spirituality, sustainable, long -term recovery


Counseling | Diseases


The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study will be to describe long-term recovery (LTR) from drug addiction for African American (AA) recovering addicts (RAs) who have ten or more years in recovery and are members of Narcotics Anonymous (NA). The theory guiding this study is the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) (Stages of Change) (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1977) as it describes the process of how individuals change their habitual behavior/s by transitioning through five stages of change (precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance,). TTM indicates that positive behavioral change is an ongoing process which is significant to understanding these factors in relation to LTR as a continuing commitment to change one’s thinking, behaviors, and spiritual purpose to find a new way to approach life with the disease of addiction (DOA) without the use of drugs. Therefore, the purpose of this study will be threefold: (1) to describe and understand the turning point or initial surrender of RA’s active addiction and why they stop using drugs, (2) to delineate and understand the meaning of LTR from the perspective of AA RA’s lived experience/s as members of NA and, (3) to delineate and understand AA RA’s daily maintenance tools of recovery capital (social supports, spiritual practices, and 12-step affiliation) or sustainable practices of LTR. This phenomenological study will seek to understand the lived experience of AA RAs while delineating the factors that influenced them to seek recovery and the daily preservation practices that they apply to their lives to stay in LTR from a Christian worldview.