No matter where you are in America, no matter your economic status, your background, or your family, there is a good chance your life has been influenced by faith. It is an ever-present thread in our lives, whether we are introduced to it by caring people that extend help, a friend we make in church, or a volunteer activity we participate in.
Faith, religion, and community are consistently intertwined in modern America. Today, fewer and fewer people ascribe to any religion. But most of us remember our early life experiences with church and faith, and even still try to keep that experience alive for the next generation.
Just as religion is a part of the fabric of American reality, so is another, darker fact: the persistent epidemic of addiction. And just as these two realities converge, we can find hope that one has a significant impact on the other.
Research shows again and again that faith is an important part of addiction treatment and recovery. Having a spiritually based element in a treatment program and continuing recovery plan greatly increases the chances of sobriety success.
Faith-based interventions in addiction recovery benefit both the community at large and those who are seeking treatment and are in recovery. Every year, these initiatives save taxpayers more than $300 billion through the support of religious organizations and faith-based volunteers in treatment and recovery programs.
We have always known that faith has great power. It was incorporated into the original 12-Step programs and remains there today. We know that when you reconnect with your spirituality, you have a greater chance of finding success in recovery.
Faith and Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery
The reason that many of us choose to seek out a treatment program is that we want to have a better life. We recognized that our lives in addiction were not good. In fact, those circumstances brought us to our knees.
For some, these kinds of circumstances lead back to the first lessons we learned as children, and already on our knees, we prayed. For others, it may have been the beginning of a spiritual journey to reconnect with our metaphysical beliefs.
No matter how you are brought to the point of supplication, you wanted to find a way to escape the trauma of addiction. As you learned from The Twelve Steps during your treatment program, this comes from surrendering to your higher power.
Many organizations that are involved in addiction treatment and recovery understand the powerful role that religion, faith, and spirituality play in this. That is why they fund faith-based organizations that do good and show positive results in the substance use treatment community.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a governmental agency, recognizes the role these faith organizations play. SAMHSA awards block grants to faith-based programs for substance use treatment, recovery, and prevention.
One of the benefits SAMHSA has found with working with faith organizations is that they help people seeking treatment to become resilient. These organizations demonstrate effectiveness in treatment and recovery.
Church and the Journey to Recovery
Often, though they have the best of intentions, government-led resources can lack the funding and resources they need to help those in treatment and recovery. More and more, governments rely on private, faith-focused initiatives to bridge the gap of that need.
One thing that makes churches and faith organizations perfect for this role is the focus on compassion that many of these associations already espouse. Love of each other is a guiding principle in many religions. Learning to love oneself and those around them is a crucial step in addiction treatment and recovery.
Partnering with faith initiatives allows communities to respond quicker and more fully to the ongoing addiction crisis in our communities. Being able to move quicker saves more than time and money; it saves lives.
How Faith-Based Initiatives Can Aid Your Recovery
Substance misuse takes a hard toll on families and communities across America. To say that addiction is victimless would be to ignore those who seek treatment and those who love them. Substance abuse has many victims.
The United States is in the grip of an addiction epidemic. In recent years, the number of people who have died from overdose has topped 100,000. Fortunately, faith-based programs make it their mission to stop that dangerous trend by helping people seek treatment and recovery. Some of the goals of faith initiatives that can help those in recovery are:
- To help guide you through all of the care options you have.
- Giving you tools to help you understand how to navigate life in recovery.
- To help you connect with other individuals in a peer support network.
- To help you and those you love to understand what addiction is and how to help those in recovery.
As part of this initiative, some states have begun helping congregations become certified as “recovery congregations.” This means they can be a part of a statewide registry that you can find, and can help you connect with additional resources.
Church Activities for Alumni
Many churches offer a sit-down meal at least once in a while and can be a great place for you to fellowship and immerse yourself in their compassion. You may want to take advantage of a church food pantry when you are in need.
There are many resources churches offer that alumni might not think of as related to addiction recovery. But many of these are essential resources for community members. Whatever your circumstances, the church is here to help care of you, as it has done from the beginning.
Going through the trauma of addiction leaves us on our knees, and that is what brought us to the knowledge that we needed treatment. Now, as an alumnus in recovery from addiction treatment, The Twelve Steps has taught you another important lesson. You found yourself on your knees because you needed to reconnect with your spirituality and faith. As you continue on the journey to lifelong sobriety, you will need to begin building your faith again, reconnecting with church, God, and religion. Finding your faith again can give you the strength you need when times get tough. And when you need your support network to rely on, call Renaissance Ranch at (801) 308-8898.