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spirituality and faith based drug treatment

Updated on July 25, 2009

Faith Based or Spiritual Drug Treatment

Spirituality and Faith based Drug Treatment

The drug problem is immense as failed policy has not kept up with the manufacturers and distributors who are most responsible. There has been no commitment to resolving this problem at the user level, at least in a way that begins at home and includes educational institutions, law enforcement, treatment options, and a concentrated after-care program available for everyone. Think about the stop-smoking campaign in North America and how well it worked.

This country could use a community center in every town and hamlet where there are trained personnel to help drug users and addicts find placement or counseling before problems escalate. We have thrown billions into the drug war, lost even before it started.. As the author points out in another paper, a new direction is needed.

Police do a great job, with limited personnel but they can't do it all. Many addicts do not belong in jail. There are some good treatment centers and there are some that don't have a clue, or only want the money.

The only successful treatment of any consequence for addictions is a spiritual based program. So far, that is found in the 12 step programs you mentioned, narcotics anonymous and alcoholics anonymous. NA deliberately avoids calling its program faith based, though it sounds the same as a spiritual program. You will hear the word God used in prayer in a spiritual program like AA. or NA.

Faith based, is a generic term that has sprouted up in the last few years and tends to point to religion as an underlying focal point. It is used, for example by those seeking exemption from income taxes by swearing that they are, indeed, faith based, includes special believers who deserve tax exemption. This would include main stream churches as well as some that might have a small problem explaining why they are in line to get into the pearly gates.

Addicts, as a whole, tend to have problems with religion. Whatever the battle, imaginary or no, it is pointless to try and bridge the gap between their church and what the beef is, especially early in recovery.

In addition, the individual into drugs and on into early recovery truly resembles the narcissistic personality.

Copernicus showed the world and the opposing church of the day that the world is not the center of the universe with the stars and moon, sun and planets circling around. Earth is another planet that circles the sun with the rest of the planets and the moon. That was too much for the church at that time.Galileo, with his primitive telescope knew the sun was the center of things but was brought to book by the church for saying it. He retracted his position, rather than face the inquisitors, and certain, horrible death by fire.

The addict is absolutely postitive with near 100 % accuracy he is the center of the universe. He is also absolutely certain he has harmed no one, caused his family no problems, and that his health is not impacted by drugs.

Now, think of the addict, all puffed up, important and definitely in charge of his universe. all revolve around him and doing "his thing." All the false promises, the stealing, lying, and cheating others will be his demons to face in treatment. He will deploy every defense to escape facing the truth. consequently, he will apply the same fractured reasoning for his crazy and unlawful behavior, while using drugs to explain himself. He may find a focal point, fix on it, and attempt to justify his drug using, while going nowhere in treatment because of his "problems."

It might be his peers, one or more, the assigned counselor, the way his bed faces, his rheumatism, those on the outside, church, his job, if he still has one, or the wife, who doesn't understand him. This is the classic, " I AM SPECIAL," attitude that will be the overlay for all else he must confront. He feels he must control everything.

Even those who are in treatment but initially show up for crimes while awaiting adjudication cannot and will not look at the core facts that, when examined under the light of day, can be seen by everyone but him,

Consider the young, college-age woman, demure and innocent looking, comes from a respected family in the community. she was arrested on a hit-and run that killed a child in a cross-walk. She is the subject of sympathy and completes her assignments appropriately, attends meetings, found her higher power, and is about to be discharged. She even has the powerful eye of the grandmotherly senior counselor watching out for her. Everyone picks up on that and she never getsconfronted, until her sharp-eyed and suspicious counselor glides into the center one evening and notices she is painting her nails in the day room.

Another patient remarks that this is what she does every single day. Puts the polish on, then lets it dry, applies polish remover and then does it all over again until lights out. A nurse saunters by and remarks, " isn't that sweet?"

The truth is that this very tricky young woman had been sniffing the remover to get high every day. A group was called with all staff and patients present. Without dissent, everyone agreed she should stay. Even her counselor's reaction was to let her stay. There was one dissent. however, from the same senior counselor who had been this young woman's "protector." She pointed out her own error as an example of how easy it can be to be fooled by the addict. The young woman was released to jail where the judge had her returned a month later, where she successfully completed the program. She has been sober over 20 years now, has two adolescent kids and works with children with special needs. For every success story, however, there is the pain of those who aren't making it, who don't "get it."

It was comforting to her family that she had made it back to the family religion. Prior to her drug use she was active in the church and presented a positive role model for the children.

Spirituality is admitting there is a power greater than the self, which is something they cannot do while using and in early recovery. religion poses an unsatisfactory dichotomy. You are in or you are out. The rules and not the purpose become an inner battle from which there can be no resolution. By focusing on a higher power, or accepting that they are not the center of theuniverse is a major step in the recovery process. It is also a spiritual experience to witness as some of the walls of defense begin to crumble, setting up for success in other areas as well.

Without a doubt, there are few in this life that do not experience heavy loss and many advisarys in life. The Bible is replete with the stories of suffering and provides a solid and comforting God to turn to. For most, religious activity is the vehicle that helps them to achieve these ends. As shown, the addict wages an inner battle over what they know is wrong. they also feel wronged because those in the church will not accept the insult to God, family, and the community.caused by drug use. Accepting the door of spirituality is a way back to the religion of youth and an earlier time when there was no conflict forcing impossible resolution.

There are those who brag about quitting on their own or by being saved, and perhapos they truly have. the clue is not only that they are not using drugs but that the pattern of abusing the family and others has stopped, the lying, cheating and stealing are but a memory, and they truly have a relationship with God or a Higher Power. Prayer and meditation, closely watching thier own behavior, and staying connected with positive friends and family will help maintain thier sobriety.

If they begin to mingle with old acauaintainces again with the excuse that clean friends are no fun, it is a clear warning sign they are slipping.


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    • prasetio30 profile image


      9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      thanks for share. great hub. I like it.


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