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Thursday, February 11, 2021

The Healing Power of Faith | Addiction and Faith-Based Recovery

healing power of faith

As the challenges of drug and alcohol addiction continue in the US, there is hope. Individuals who recognize they need help and seek treatment can enjoy a successful recovery from their addictive behaviors. The healing power of faith has been shown to be a significant factor in recovery from addiction. Faith-based recovery can mean the difference for your health and your life.


The Substance Abuse Crisis

In the US, more than 20 million people over the age of 12 have a substance use disorder. Of those, at least 2 million have an opioid use disorder, including those who use or abuse prescription pain relievers. The CDC estimates that 88,000 people die each year from alcohol-related causes, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the country. in addition, suicide contributes to the death rates of those struggling with a substance use disorder.


Impact of Faith on Healing

Multiple evidence-based research studies confirm the positive impact of an individual’s faith on their health and well-being. Among individuals who are suffering from substance abuse issues, their addiction and faith-based recovery clearly demonstrate the healing power of faith.


The research has found that spiritual support and religious involvement can be integral to an individual’s ability to deal with substance abuse. In one study, 84% of clients in addiction counseling expressed a desire for a greater emphasis on spirituality in their treatment program. Faith not only helps in treatment, but people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol have shown a lower risk of relapse in recovery when they are involved in spiritual programs that encourage fellowship.


A person’s effective use of the spiritual resources from their faith tradition, known as positive religious coping, has been determined to contribute to more positive substance abuse recovery outcomes. One study followed addiction treatment participants who had been addicted to alcohol. During a period ranging from two weeks to six months after enrolling in the program, the participants who relied on their faith to help them cope were less likely to be tempted to drink than those who had no such beliefs.


In addition, positive religious coping has been found to be effective when an individual is dealing with opioid dependence, which is an addiction with high rates of relapse. A research study found that increased positive religious coping was associated with less frequent opioid use and more frequent 12-step participation, which further reinforced the desire to stay in recovery and to stay sober.


Faith-Based Social Support

The Department of Health and Human Services for Mental Health and Substance Use has outlined the steps necessary to combat and treat substance use disorders, including clinical care, social intervention, and social support. Faith-based communities and organizations play a large and impactful role in the necessary social intervention and support for individuals recovering from an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Part of their effectiveness lies in their ability to reach beyond the individual and engage the family and the community in the recovery process.


Sustained Abstinence in Recovery

Yet another study points to the fact that religious and spiritual beliefs and practices lead to lower levels of substance abuse in individuals. In fact, almost 82% of the clients who experienced a spiritual awakening during their substance abuse treatment and recovery were completely abstinent one year after completing treatment, as compared with 55% of those clients who were not spiritually awakened.


Substance Abuse Prevention Impact

In addition to the healing power of faith, it has been determined that faith can actually protect individuals against developing a substance abuse issue. In a study of over 11,000 adult women, significant reductions in alcohol and drug use by more religiously active women were found.

A separate research project showed that both men and women who use prescription opioids and who are rooted in their faith are less likely to engage in use of multiple medications or to use medications in combination with alcohol. Of those who participate actively in their faith, such as attending religious services regularly, a reduced rate of alcoholism and an increase in subjective well-being has been discovered.


California Faith-Based Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one struggles with a substance use disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope to learn more about our faith-based addiction treatment program. Our team helps men and women break the cycle of addiction and begin anew. We rely on the teachings of Jesus Christ, along with evidence-based therapies to get individuals on the path of recovery.

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