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Addiction is a significant and impacting factor in American life and has been for some time. Since the turn of the century this is a problem that has been taking over and getting more and more significant.
Studies show that roughly 120,000 Americans die every year because of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. Studies also show that there are roughly twenty-five million Americans who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. As if that wasn’t bad enough, about half a million more become addicted each and every year; however, only about 200,000 beat addiction every year. In times like these, a lot of people look to answers and solutions, and they wonder what can be done to reverse this trend and this dwindling spiral.
The Role that Religion Plays in Addiction and Recovery
In this day and age, God, religion, and spirituality in general regardless of specific faith are very key factors for many individuals in the attempted prevention and the specific treatment of substance abuse in general and in continuing recovery for their addiction habits. However, it was found that the minority of people who suffer with, are rehabilitating through, or who are in recovery from addiction, use religion or spirituality to overcome it. In truth, spirituality and religion are often overlooked as very relevant factors in preventing and treating substance abuse and addiction in general.
Getting in touch with one’s spiritual side and tapping into the power of religion and spirituality and the kind of help that religion and faith can provide a person has an enormous potential for lowering the risk of substance abuse amongst teens and adults. This is especially key in prevention and aftercare. Religious beliefs form resolve and zeal, and one’s pursuance of religious approaches when combined with professional treatment from certified organizations all promote recovery.
Statistically speaking and according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH):
“Adults and teens who considered religion to be very important and who attended religious services weekly or more were far less likely to smoke, drink or use illicit drugs. Individuals who, in addition to receiving treatment, attended spiritually based support programs, such as the 12-step programs Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, were more likely to maintain sobriety. Individuals in successful recovery often showed greater levels of faith and spirituality than did those who had relapsed.”
When people with very strong religious faith struggle with addiction to drugs and alcohol and with varying degrees of substance abuse in general, they face not only the key struggles that society places on them but also the issues that are related to how their addiction issues affect their faith and their core beliefs too. This all has a negative impact on them and continues to negatively impact them. For these individuals who are more spiritual by nature or who have their own specific religious beliefs, traditional addiction recovery programs that do not address this spiritual component may not be as effective as a more spiritual recovery center would be. With a combination of essentially traditional, tried and true drug rehab and a spiritual approach that utilizes spirituality and religion to achieve total addiction recovery, a faith-based recovery center can really help and provide the right care to those struggling with addiction. People who are spiritual can tap into their beliefs to find relief while supporting and strengthening their faith at the very same time. This combination actually leads to a better chance of full recovery because it strengthens a person on many different levels.
Addiction Statistics: Why Treatment is Necessary
We have in this world today the worst drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse problem that we have ever faced. The United States in particular is facing what it calls a full on, “addiction epidemic.” Last year in one of his State of the Union addresses President Barack Obama spoke on the matter and decreed that drug and alcohol addiction was one of the top ten most concerning issues in the United States. It was right up there with the war on terror, the health care concerns, and the financial worries.
To better understand the crisis, especially as it pertains to alcohol abuse, it is best to examine statistics on the issue. For example:
• Among unemployed adults of the age of 18 or older in 2013, 18.2 percent were current illicit drug users and in a big way too, which was higher than the rates of 9.1 percent for those who were employed full time and 13.7 percent for those who were employed only part time. However, most illicit drug users were to a degree employed, at least part time. Of the 22.4 million current illicit drug users aged 18 or older in 2013, 15.4 million (68.9 percent) were employed either full or at least part time.
• In the year of 2013, 9.9 million persons (3.8 percent of those aged 12 or older) reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the past year alone, which was higher than the rate in 2012, which came in at 2.0 percent. In 2013, the rate was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (10.6 percent) although this rate was lower than the rate in 2012 for this age group by far (11.9 percent).
• In the year of 2013, heavy drinking was reported by 6.3 percent of the population aged 12 or older, or about 16.5 million people. This rate was quite similar to the rate of heavy drinking in 2012 (6.5 percent).
• In the year of 2013, 52.2 percent of current underage drinkers reported that their last use of alcohol occurred in someone else’s home in fact, and 34.2 percent reported that it had occurred in their own home instead. Most current drinkers aged, 12 to 20 (77.6 percent) were with two or more other people the last time they drank alcohol. The rate of drinking alone the last time that underage persons drank alcohol was highest among youths of the ages of 12 to 14 (14.5 percent).
Religious Rehabilitation: A Stellar Approach to Addiction Treatment
Addicted individuals who are religious and spiritual have an untapped resource at their fingertips and they might not even know it. A religious recovery center is a special kind of very specific and very well put together drug rehab and recovery facility that essentially approaches the problem of addiction from a spiritual point of view first and foremost, and from a physical point of view second. The leaders and the administrators and the staff of these facilities basically believe that a person tends to turn to addictive behavior to try to fill the void left by a lack of spirituality in his or her life. In fact, this is often the consensus at rehab centers that don’t even have a faith-based track.
Nine times out of ten, addiction comes about because someone is trying to fill a void due to lack of personal beliefs, religion, goals, aspirations, plans, dreams, integrity, passion, zeal, etc. The theory behind addiction programs of a more religious nature though is that the adding of God or another higher power into the individual’s life will basically fill that void and remove the need for addictive behavior in the person’s life.
Spiritual recovery programs are quite successful and they are needed and wanted now more than ever. In one study in fact, it was found that according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University that no less than a full eighty percent of Americans believe that faith is able to help addicted people recover from their addictions. This is logic at its best. Why wouldn’t faith help keep people sober? Faith helps people with lots of things all the time, and this is logical and makes sense to say the least.
The study also found that recovered individuals, (defined by most organizations and authorities as individuals who are sober for over two years), had greater levels of faith than those who fell into relapse after completing an addiction recovery program. Combining faith, (it can be any kind of faith), and recovery certainly is successful and beneficial. Now more than ever those who struggle and suffer with addiction need to reach deep down inside and find their faith and whatever it is that they want to believe and then find a rehab center that will help them forward that belief.