Determining what role, if any, God plays in the complex arena of addiction and substance abuse is often a hotly contested issue. While some experts in the field acknowledge the beneficial advantages of leaning on religion to battle the demons of drugs and alcohol, many psychiatrists deny having a foundation of faith can reduce the chances of addiction. Although substance abuse is widespread and just about anyone can fall into its trap, there are a few popular ideas when it comes to substance abuse and the link to spirituality.
The Church Doesn’t Deny There’s a Problem
There may be conflicting methods when it comes to healing addiction but the church as a whole acknowledges the epidemic of substance abuse and its negative effects on their congregation. When it comes to ridding oneself of the hold of drugs and alcohol, God is the only solution according to church doctrine. Surprisingly, very few clergymen have actual training to deal with substance abuse within their flock even though a large percentage of personal problems reported to the clergy are substance abuse related.
With God as the Focus, There is Less Interest in Drugs and Alcohol
Studies have shown that regularly attending worship services from a young age and having a foundation of faith makes one less likely to try illicit substances in the first place. If they ARE tried, believing in God and being an active participant in a religion can reduce the risk of continued usage, leading to addiction. Those who achieve happiness and satisfaction from their chosen belief system very often simply have no interest in mind-altering substances. This is not to say of course, that they are immune, but there IS a difference in the population among those who have a strong belief system and those who do not.
Having Something to Believe In Matters
More and more people are turning to drugs and alcohol with the ever-mounting stresses of the world. Financial problems seem never-ending and it is getting harder to cope. People who follow an organized religion or just consider themselves spiritual are often able to have hope in the midst of a tough situation. Believing in a master plan can take some of the burden away and make the circumstances a little easier to deal with.
Overall, spirituality and religion should be used comprehensively with traditional methods to ensure the best chances of reducing the risk of substance abuse in society.
Hayley is a substance abuse counselor and blogger residing in Florida. If you or someone you is suffering from substance addiction, Delray Recovery Center may help.