There does not have to be a chasm between a Christian treatment program approach to drug addiction and a medical or scientific approach to addiction recovery.
A medical approach to drug addiction follows the science that God created, and therefore, it’s a viable pathway to recovery. The 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is an exceptional tool for treating the spirit, while the medical team treats the body and mind.
Even if your life experience doesn't include addiction, following the 12-Steps links us to the creator, to make His presence in our lives a vital, life-giving pathway to fulfillment.
A Christian treatment program approach is a holistic approach to treat the entire person; body, mind and spirit.
Christian treatment centers consider the medical needs of patients, but they also recognize the spiritual element of recovery. It is one thing to get over the immediate physical affects of drug addiction, that is to go through detoxification, but is quite another to continue to work at the difficult task of living without the crutch.
It is one thing to not use drugs, but is quite another to not need or crave drugs.
Drug addiction a problem of identity
Here’s something to think about. Drug addiction can be thought of as a problem of identity. The drug takes over to the point where nothing else matters, and as the process unfolds, the person becomes lost, sometimes to the point where they are hardly recognizable.
The addict’s identity becomes the drug.
The Bible states that man is made in the image of God and man was created with a free will to make his own decisions. When addiction sets in, who is making the decisions? When the addict admits that his life is out of control (Step One) he is beginning to realize that his identity is lost. He may not put it in exactly those terms, but the truth is the drug is in charge.
For more about God and addiction please click here:
Made in God’s image
“I'm not religious, but I am spiritual.”
We hear people say, “I am not religious, but I am spiritual.” We can accept that statement because we are spiritual beings. Religion carries a variety of connotations, and many of them are negative. Our definition of religion is as follows: Religion is about what I can do to be acceptable to God.
We prefer to avoid the use of the word religion and instead use the word “relationship.” To us, relationship centers on what God did to make us acceptable.
Without getting into too much detail, suffice it to say that the “power greater than ourselves,” as stated in Step Two, is a loving creator God, who is interested in having a relationship with us, sees our suffering and stretches His hand out to us to help.
This isn’t religion but your recovery may be based on knowing that God loves you and wants to help you recover.
Just as medical books are the basis for educating doctors, the Bible is our “owner’s manual” for gaining insight into the human condition.
Only a spiritual experience will conquer your addiction
The Alcoholics Anonymous book states on page 44, that:
“You may be suffering from and illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer.”
This leads us down a slightly different path. If my treatment requires a medical intervention, such as the prescribed use of Methadone, then what is this spiritual experience and what does it got to do with me?
We have already talked about the sense of self and our relationships with others, to some kind of higher power as we define it, and or relationship to the world.
Here’s an experiment. Remove all of the distractions like the radio, TV and try to remove any external noises and stimuli. Stand in front of the mirror, relax and look at yourself. Look deep into your eyes. Let your mind wander. Open yourself up to your higher power. What do you see? What are you feeling? Be honest.
The Alcoholics Anonymous book shares a conclusion on page 570 that might be helpful to you in your self-examination before the mirror. “We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.”
God will meet you where you are at
From a Christian perspective, we are told time and again in the New Testament that God will meet us where we are and that we are already loved and accepted.
You are probably already familiar with the popular verse John 3:16, mainly because you always see somebody holding up a sign at a football game or some other sporting event. The verse is actually a quote from Jesus of Nazareth, who said:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not parish but have eternal life.”
But many people have never taken a look at the continuation of the quote, which is vitally important to those in recovery, as it separates religion from relationship. John 3:17 states:
“For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
The help that you need, the power you require and the relationship that can guide you through recovery is not going to judge you. You have a true friend, who has not changed and will not change.
You have a friend who knew you long before you were born and made the personal decision to lay down his life for you for no other reason than he loved you. That sounds like hope to me. What does it sound like to you?
Summary of this page:
Christian Treatment can be VERY useful and effective in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction.
Christian Treatment is widely available for free in many cities and at many churches, may of whom use the Celebrate Recovery program created by Saddle Back Church in Orange County California.
Christian Treatment can help a person have a "spiritual awakening" often considered by experts to be required step when overcoming drug and alcohol addiction.
Christian Treatment helps those who already have a faith background, tap into their higher power and through submission move past addiction into recovery.
Christian Treatment was the basis of the 12-Step process and helped the founder of AA, Bill W., to end his terrible addiction and learn to live a "happy joyous and free" life.
Are you or a family member struggling?
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and Finally Remember:
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
- Matthew 7:7-8
Joe Herzanek discusses the importance of Step 6 in a successful 12-Step recovery, this week on Recovery Now!