Whether you are religious yourself or not, there is one thing that can’t be argued: for those who choose to apply it, religion can play a very important role in addiction recovery. For those who are religious, they are able to find help, support, guidance, and more through their religious views and affiliations.
There are many Christian based treatment centers around the country that center their plans and treatments around Christian teachings. On top of that, over half of the 12 Steps in the 12 Step Program are centered around God or a Higher Power.
Addictions can absolutely be overcome by people without religious views and affiliations. But religion can help someone who is working through addiction recovery, if they choose to utilize it.
Below are 4 important roles that religion can play in addiction recovery:
1. Getting help and guidance from a Personage more powerful than ourselves.
Religion helps an addicted individual receive help and guidance from a Power greater than themselves. It helps them to have faith in Someone other than themselves. Someone perfect, knowledgeable, powerful, and loving. Someone who can strengthen, support, and guide them through their tough path towards recovery. Someone who can help them overcome anything that is getting in the way of their recovery. It helps them to not feel alone during their struggles.
It also helps them to stop depending on drugs and/or alcohol; it gives them Someone to turn to when they are feeling weak, instead of turning towards their addictive substances. It helps them to learn of God’s will and strength other than their own. It helps them to, through faith and prayer, feel hope and joy. It helps them to leave treatment not feeling alone.
2. Helping to give us a powerful moral compass.
Many times in addiction recovery, the addict is encouraged to work to right any wrongs they may have committed because of their addiction. Religion and a relationship with God helps these individuals to feel a strong sense of moral obligation to complete these sometimes vital steps to recovery. It helps give them the courage they need to work to right those wrongs, and to confront their addictions.
It helps them to look at the flaws in themselves and their lives, and to realize when those flaws aren’t in line with the teachings of the Lord (and the teachings that will bring us happiness). It helps them to feel a sense of accountability, and with that a greater desire to change and become stronger.
3. Helping us to feel unconditional love.
Love is a very important component of addiction recovery. And religion, and a strong relationship with God, helps addicts to feel very strongly of that love. Of that unconditional love that they are so in need of during their difficult struggle. During recovery, many times flaws and mistakes and very difficult things are uncovered and addressed. With religion, addicts are able to feel powerful love from God that can help them work through the painful emotions they are feeling.
4. Getting support from a group.
Another very beneficial aspect that religion plays in helping those working through addiction recovery is the support they can receive from a group. If someone chooses not to use the assistance of a treatment center or support group, a religious group can help to give them some of that sense of support they may be missing out on. Or, when an individual leaves a treatment center, their religious institution can help to provide them with some of that love and group support that they found useful to them during their road to recovery. It can help them to find good, supportive friends that can help keep them in good, wholesome environments, activities, and situations.
Another important aspect that a religious environment brings to a recovering individual is opportunities to serve. Most churches have many different service projects and service opportunities. These religious groups can help the recovering addict find ways to get involved and serve others. This can help them to think of people other than themselves, which could also help them to find more success in recovery.
Nicole is a guest post writer for The Rehab Advisor, where they help people find the right addiction treatment to suit their needs. Click here for more information.