We’ve said a thousand times that addiction treatment can only be successful if the entire person is treated, not just the person’s addiction. This is because addiction is a disease that affects every part of your being. Addiction destroys your spiritual health along with your emotional and physical health, which is why a faith-based approach to addiction recovery is the most successful. Addicts need to build faith in God, in other people, and in themselves, in order to heal their spirits and overcome addiction.
What the Data Shows
Multiple studies have concluded that incorporating faith teachings into addiction recovery can help improve the chances that a person will remain sober. In fact, close to 8 in 10 Americans believe that faith can help addicted people recover, according to studies from the National Center on Addiction. The same study found that people who are most successful at maintaining sobriety for two or more years are those who have higher levels of faith.
How it Works
A successful faith-based recovery program generally combines faith teachings with other traditional recovery methods. Treatments might include a combination of some or all of the following:
- Spiritual education
- Developing or strengthening a relationship with God
- Forming habits of daily religious study, prayer, and meditation
- Learning more about drug or alcohol addiction
- Receiving counseling for drug addiction
- Physical detox to get through the withdrawal process
- Group therapy and group religious studies
In addition, these programs will often help people connect with their faith community in order to build support to prevent relapse in the future. The connections that you make during and right after your rehab can help you avoid addictive behaviors and situations in the future when you might face temptation, and give you a group of supporters who are there to help.
A Miraculous Recovery
If you’ve ever struggled with addiction, then you’ve probably tried to overcome this disease on your own, and failed. Rather than beating yourself up, it’s important to realize that addiction can’t be cured without help from a Higher Power. Overcoming addiction is a miraculous thing, and you can’t accomplish it on your own. A faith-based recovery program teaches you how to turn to God for help, how to accept His help, and how to witness a miraculous change in your life.
Forgiveness is Necessary
Forgiveness is a necessary spiritual component in overcoming addiction. In order to get better, you must forgive those who have wronged you in your past, and more importantly, learn to forgive yourself. Those steps would be impossible without the Atonement. Understanding that Christ has taken our sins upon Him can make the process of forgiving ourselves not only possible, but an exercise in joy. Participating in a faith-based rehab program will give you the opportunity to learn about the Atonement, and to put it into practice in your daily life.
Growing As a Group
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “Church is hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” Those who have fallen the farthest have the most to gain from attending church. Church helps build faith because it allows us to come together to share insights and gain strength from one another. The same is true of the therapeutic community in a faith-based rehab program. By working with others who are going through the same trials you’re experiencing, you can gain some perspective on your own situation and help lift up others, even as you’re buoyed by their efforts and support.
Sacred Stories Provide Strength in Trying Times
The gospels contain many stories of people facing adversity and overcoming those obstacles thanks to their faith in God. Even prophets like Jonah, Moses, and Abraham faced tribulation from every side. Their faith helped them overcome trials that might have destroyed someone without that same conviction. Placing your faith in God lets you tap into the same source of strength that gave comfort and support to these powerful men.
Faith Connects You With a Network of Believers
There are many believers here to help you. They have also come through many trials and struggled to reconcile their faith with difficult circumstances. Speaking with other believers can be an immense source of strength. For instance:
- Getting to know other faithful opens up your social network to include people who are supportive of your recovery efforts.
- Receiving support from people who share your values is an excellent way to motivate your recovery.
- You have the opportunity to share your own story and help others who are struggling with their own addictions.
Your Faith Is Strengthened by Overcoming Adversity
As you progress in your recovery you will find that you have greater faith than ever before. Faith is built by placing your trust in God even in trying times. As your faith grows in strength you will be able to embrace recovery with renewed conviction.
Top Reasons to Consider a Gospel-Based Addiction Recovery Program
Dealing with addiction is never easy, but sometimes the thought of trying to find a recovery program is even more daunting than the addiction itself. It might seem like there is no program out there that is quite right for your lifestyle and your needs, but the good news is that not all recovery programs are alike. In fact, for people whose lives are centered around their LDS faith, a gospel-based recovery program might be the key to finding long-lasting sobriety and happiness. Here are just a few of the advantages these programs can offer.
1: Sharing Your Core Values
Faith-based rehabilitation centers have one advantage that a more secular program will not: the programs will be designed to fit the needs of people who share your core values. In many cases the staff and other people in the program will also share the same belief system that you have, which makes it easier for them to relate to you and understand some of the family, religious, and community commitments that you have.
2: Addressing More Than Just Physical Needs
When you suffer from addictions like drugs and alcohol, the physical side of your healing process is certainly important and cannot be ignored. However, it’s often not the only important part of your journey. For many people you will also have spiritual and emotional needs, and when you’re working with an LDS-based addiction recovery program you will be able to discuss your religious and spiritual concerns as you overcome your physical addiction and seek forgiveness from God.
3: Building a Like-Minded Recovery Community
When you struggle with addiction in the LDS community it can sometimes feel like you are all alone—that you are the only person who has a problem. The truth is that many people from all walks of life and in all religions can become addicted. When you go through a faith-based recovery program you will meet people who are like you, so you are able to build a strong community of supporters with others who are in recovery. These groups often last far beyond the program itself, giving you a support system even after you leave rehab filled with people you can lean on in the future.
No matter what kind of recovery program you are seeking, always check to make sure the one you’re considering offers the right mix of group and individual therapy, options for outpatient or inpatient care that fits your needs, and aftercare to ensure your success once you leave.