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Addictions are all-consuming and catastrophic, not just for the suffering individual but for their families and loved ones, as well. There are various types of addictions and all stem from, and ironically add to, feelings of loneliness, emptiness, lack of fulfillment, longing, etc. Drug and alcohol addictions affect many millions the world over and bring with them intense feelings of shame and denial. They also create powerful fear; fear of judgement, fear of losing their lives, and possibly the strongest fear of losing access to the substance that has caused their predicament. This creates further emotions related to isolation, depression, and suicidal thoughts. It’s a very challenging task to deal with such a plethora of thoughts and feelings, and it’s easy to spiral into self-pity, self-loathing, and hate for the world.

The road to recovery is often difficult and long, but there are various treatments that can help quicken the recovery process and make it more bearable. It is also important to look for a form of therapy or treatment which has long-standing results and does their best to avoid relapses. Besides many medical treatments, faith-based therapy for drug and alcohol addiction recovery is a popular route adopted by many victims of substance use disorder. It fosters feelings of fellowship, support, surrender, belonging, and spiritual awakening. It can calm one’s mind and allow the victim to believe in the healing grace of a higher spiritual power.

It’s been noted that Christian addicts have shown a better recovery rate than others. This could be owing to the community support system and counseling they have to guide their recovery path, or it could be the mental peace they experience in prayer and the spiritual healing process. They are seen to be more optimistic and less anxious. Whatever the reason, Christians have been noted to witness fewer relapses and enjoy higher success rates while coping with their addictions.

Types of Faith-based Therapy for Substance Abuse Addiction Recovery

There are various rehabilitation clinics and medical detoxification centers which feature faith-based therapy, Christian or otherwise, as a part of their programs. Though these vary in nature, some popular sessions are mentioned below.

  • Regular worship and prayer services
  • Honest discussions with priests or pastors
  • Bible (or scripture or other prayer book) study teams
  • Maintaining a journal of your thoughts, feelings, and ideas
  • Meditation sessions
  • Therapy sessions with Christian (or other faith) counselors. These could be one-to-one sessions or group meetings

Goals of Faith-based Therapy

  • Belief and strong confidence in the presence of a higher power
  • Faith in one’s ability to live a happy life without substance use
  • A firm belief and faith in oneself
  • Belief and trust in religious values and ideals
  • Understanding the importance of life and of valuing each moment
  • Undying belief in one’s ability to achieve positive change
  • Willingness and openness to help and be helped by others

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Faith-based Therapy Program

  • Does the center offer only religious therapy or a combination of religious and spiritual treatments?
  • Which religions are accommodated in the center?
  • Are visits conducted to places of worship such as churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, and other devotional facilities?
  • Does the treatment center welcome interfaith patients or should they be of a specific religion?
  • What are the payment options and terms, and are flexible finance options available?
  • Are there outpatient programs and is this encouraged?
  • Is the location convenient to one’s needs?

12-Step Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery Process

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) strongly advocates the twelve-step process to get rid of your alcoholism and drug addictions, and many Christian therapy centers feature these tenets on their programs, as well. This value system was drawn up in 1939 and has assisted many addicts to come clean of their vices. The 12 steps are listed below.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Benefits of Faith-Based Therapy

Facilitating spiritual healing

Overcoming your addictions can be a mighty challenging process and it is painful to accept responsibility for the situation you are in. It is easy to remain in denial. The process of spiritual healing involves forgiving yourself first, before building bonds with others in your realm and forging a sense of belonging. It encourages you to document your journey of healing by maintaining a regular journal of your thoughts and feelings. This can help you get rid of toxic emotions and also gain perspective.

Increasing your self-belief and belief in a higher power

The first few stages of getting past your addictions can be very exhausting, and your road to increase your belief in the supreme power can greatly help your journey, ultimately improving your self-belief.

Creating a heightened sense of gratitude

It is easy to value the many blessings in your life when you practice gratitude. Everyone has their trials, good days and bad, but cultivating gratitude can make you want to get better to experience all the wonderful people and things that are in your life. This can help with the emotional rollercoaster of your recovery process.

Finding a purpose in life

Spirituality and faith can encourage you to stop pitying yourself and, instead, focus on helping others. In doing so, you’ll probably end up helping yourself. It helps you feel valued and that you’re making a difference in the world. It also helps build confidence and self-worth.

Building meaningful connections and a strong support system

As an alcohol and drug addict, you may have tendencies to isolate yourself from your loved ones and the rest of the world and drown in self-pity and self-loathing. Faith-based healing focuses on building strong connections with others in the community to harbor feelings of self-worth and belonging. It helps you to connect with your own conscience and build meaningful relationships with others as well. It helps build a strong support system that empowers you with unconditional love and constant support.

Conclusion

Faith-based therapy has several benefits. It is up to you to determine what treatments will work best for your unique situation; it could be a combination of treatments and lifestyle changes. A firm commitment to change can slowly turn your self-doubt and loneliness into a strong sense of self-belief, confidence, and belonging.

At Cardinal Recovery, we help you build on the strength of community and a steadfast support system to guide your path through a quick and long-lasting recovery.