Addiction is a complex condition and is now considered to be a disease of the brain which manifests itself by compulsive substance abuse despite negative and destructive consequences. Addiction happens when an individual ingests a substance, legal or illicit such as alcohol, cocaine, nicotine, prescription medications, etc. or engages in an activity like gambling, sex, or shopping that can be pleasurable but when continued results in compulsive behavior which interferes with one’s responsibilities such as work, relationships, or health. Addiction can destroy the lives and families of those struggling with it. But, including faith in recovery programs can help addicts regain their spirituality.
Those struggling with addiction often need assistance to overcome and win their battle with substance abuse. There are many drug treatment programs available, but it is important to find the right program for your specific needs. It has been found that treatment programs which offer both physical and mental healing yield higher success rates and a reduced risk of relapse. But what about one’s spiritual side? Faith-based rehab programs can offer individuals with strong religious beliefs who are struggling with addiction. When faith-based people are grappling with addiction, they not only face societal issues but also struggle with how their addiction problems may affect their faith.
For these faith-based people, many traditional addiction treatment facilities that do not address the spiritual aspect of addiction may not be as beneficial as other centers that offer faith in recovery programs. In collaboration with traditional drug rehabilitation and a spiritual approach to healing, faith-based recovery programs can help those battling with addiction find solace while focusing on and strengthening their faith. This faith in recovery will help a person remain sober for the long-term.
Breaking Free From Addiction
When individuals finally break through the resistant chains of substance abuse, they often begin to experience the benefits of sober living fairly quickly. When one becomes free of substance addiction and they begin the journey of their recovery programs, they will start to feel stronger and with persistence will gradually regain the all too often lost sense of self-worth and confidence that their time spent addicted took from them. Many who begin on the road to recovery feel very excited about starting their lives anew, but addiction can be an insidious and powerful disease and time’s of doubt and uncertainty in one’s sobriety is common.
Some individuals may feel an overwhelming amount of guilt for transgressions which were committed during their time of addiction. Think of it this way, if someone hacked your computer, stole your personal information, and then proceeded to purchase grand amounts of stuff you, personally, may never have purchased like an expensive sports care, technology, or grand vacation get-a-ways, it would leave you feeling violated, as if someone took over your identity. Would you not want the offender found and to have justice for their crimes?
Addiction can be very similar to the above analogy. Often when people regain their sobriety and see things from a clearer point of view, they say the actions they committed while under the influence of substances seem like it was someone else entirely. In most programs that offer faith in recovery, there are steps you can take to make sure you are never again robbed of who you truly are.
The Concept of Faith
Faith is defined as belief with strong and sure conviction or a firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof; complete trust, confidence, reliance, or devotion. Faith is the opposite of doubt. While the idea of faith is most commonly associated with spirituality and religion, it can also be defined as placing one’s total confidence and trust in another person or thing. The Greek word for faith is ‘pistis’ and it refers to God’s faithfulness.
For those who have a strong and deep-seated faith that helps to guide their lives, they are said to have an inherent belief or conviction in a person or thing to a degree that they don’t require physical or logical proof to know that what they need, feel, or what will come to them is true. Whether it be in drug rehabilitation or any trying situation that may be encountered on a day-to-day basis, those who are able to take a leap of faith believe that a positive outcome is possible because somehow, whether it be a higher power or the guidance of those around you, things will work out for the better.
There are many ways in which someone can express their faith. When it comes to recovering from drug and alcohol use disorders, it could simply mean having strong faith in recovery and continued sobriety because they have seen other people in similar situations to their own, recover in the same manner.
Five Ways You Can Cultivate Your Faith In Recovery
- If faith is a gift, you can pray for it. The prayer of the father of a child who Jesus heals in Mark 9 was “help my unbelief”. This can also be your prayer.
- Visualizing your future self can be powerful. As a regular discipline in your life, spend a few moments visualizing the person you want to become, a person who is free from addiction in order to attain even greater levels of freedom.
- Take a good look at your current life and make a list of the obstacles you face that threaten your vision of your future self.
- Faith is not simply an intangible belief, it can be measured in actions in the present that eventually will move you toward the future God has planned for you. Start to act (based on the plan you just made) in accordance with your future identity.
- Find a mentor or spiritual leader to help guide you. Faith gets on better when others share it with us. Locate someone you can trust and respect who shares your strong faith, whom you can pray with and share your future plans. Try to surround yourself with others who share your faith, because sometimes these people will be able to believe for you when you may temporarily lack the strength to believe in your self.