Addiction usually leads to isolation and loneliness as it destroys all relationships in life, including the connection with God. Alcohol takes everything away from you, including faith. Because of poor faith, a person can feel too weak to struggle with addiction and thus unwilling to seek help. Some centers incorporate clients’ belief in a higher power into addiction treatment. They reckon that growing faith can provide comfort, support, and guidance on the path to sobriety.
Alcohol is easy to buy in supermarkets, grocery stores, and online in many countries. Alcohol has a long history with beer and wine being part of the traditions of many countries. Drinking has been a common social activity that brings people together for friendly meetings. It has been an important aspect of many gatherings and celebrations for years.
What Does the Bible Say About Alcohol?
Churches have different attitudes to alcohol. Some prohibit it completely. Others use wine during Communion. Churches also sponsor faith-based recovery programs. There is a verse in the New Testament where Apostle Paul gives advice to his disciple:
“Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” – 1 Timothy 5:23
But the Bible makes it clear that drinking too much is undesirable. Apostle Paul writes in one of his epistles:
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” – Ephesians 5:18
The Bible also says that drinking leads to dire and dangerous consequences:
“Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine.” – Isaiah 5:11
“Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.” – Proverbs 23:29
In Proverbs 23:32, it is said that wine “bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.”
All in all, the Bible doesn’t expressly forbid the drinking of alcohol. However, it does forbid getting drunk. Drunkenness and addiction are sins in the eyes of Lord:
“nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
The Principles of Faith-Based Rehabs
Faith-based community organizations incorporate a religious approach into treatment programs in different ways. Often, Christian addiction recovery programs put the same emphasis on the client’s medical and spiritual needs. Standard methods are used to treat a physical aspect of addiction. Medically-assisted detox helps clients manage withdrawal syndrome and cravings. Individual and group therapy teaches techniques of avoiding relapse and life skills.
Since treatment is also focused on the spiritual element, certified spiritual advisors conduct counseling and guidance during rehabilitation. Participation in individual and group therapy sessions with these religious leaders help patients to gain peace through their faith.
There’re faith-based rehabs that provide opportunities for patients who want to practice specific religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or Buddhism. For example, faith based drug rehabilitation can include church visits, prayers, and pastor visits.
Faith-based treatment includes the following aspects
- A belief in oneself
- Love of life
- Confidence in a higher power
- Confidence in the ability to live without alcohol
- Belief in religious ideals
- Believing in one’s capability to make changes
- Trust to other people who are willing to help
Biblical Principles in Recovery
The Bible study for recovering addicts may be useful for addicts. There are so many lessons everyone can learn from the Holy Scripture.
In such a difficult time as addiction recovery, reading this book can encourage an addict and help them see the light at the end of the tunnel. They start to understand that there is a higher power watching over them and protecting them.
The principles that one can learn during the Bible study in rehab include:
The major goals of completing the Bible study at the faith-based recovery center are to incorporate these principles into life and learn how to build a relationship with God.
What Does Science Say?
Research shows that faith-focused rehabs are effective in treating substance abuse. In 2008, The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion published the results of a substantial survey of about 100 studies. They found out that nearly all of them indicated a positive impact of religious affiliation and practice on preventing alcohol-related problems.
Several recent studies have found that such factors as attending worship, spiritual well-being, and the important place of religion in one’s life are associated with lower alcohol consumption and fewer cases of abuse, such as binge drinking.
In 2012, Harold G. Koenig, a psychiatrist on the faculty of Duke University, published a paper on the connections of religion, spirituality, and health. The area of substance abuse was also covered as one of the elements of mental health.
The researcher analyzed 278 studies with regard to alcohol use, abuse, and dependence. Of those, 240 (86%) reported inverse relationships between substance use disorders and religion/spirituality, and only 4 studies (1%) indicated a positive relationship.
Religious/spiritual people reported greater self-esteem and higher levels of meaning and purpose in life, optimism and hope, and overall well-being and happiness. All these positive emotions have inverse relationships with alcohol or drug use. That’s why addiction treatment therapy aims to return them to a recovering addict.
After leaving a Christian alcoholism rehab, a person may need further support. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the right place to go. The 12-Step Program is actually based on religious and spiritual principles.
The steps involve believing that “a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”, letting “God remove all these defects of character”, relying on “the care of God”, etc. You can read all 12 steps on Wikipedia.
Though the 12-step program has garnered criticism because of its focus on God, millions of people in recovery still use AA for support, guidance, and sobriety. Research shows that 12-Step involvement is a predictor of long-term abstinence.