Solutions for Addiction: Christian resources for drug addiction There does not have to be a chasm between a Spiritual programs approach to addiction and a medical or scientific approach to addiction recovery.
A medical approach to addiction follows the science that God created, and therefore, it’s a viable pathway to recovery. The 12-Steps of AA 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 Spiritual 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. Addiction a problem of identity Here’s something to think about. 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.
How is discipleship like recovery? Read more…
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 AA Big 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?How do I break the pattern of addiction in my life?This is often the problem people face when they want to quit but can’t. The most important thing is to understand that you have a problem, which is the first of the ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS 12-Step process for breaking the addiction and failure. You have come to admit that you are powerless over the addiction and that your life is out of control. This is important because everyone wants to believe that they can solve their own problems and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. If you are like most people, this fighting spirit doesn’t work with addiction.It’s important to know that addiction can not be cured, it can only be controlled. Once the drug is out of your system, and once the medical aspects of your addiction have been addressed, there is still a management issue. That’s where treatment programs come into play, because treatment is designed to equip addicts how to manage their behavior. Because of this relapse is usually common when you’re trying to break the addiction and failure. Expect relapse but don’t give up because of it!Self awareness is an important component here. People use for a variety of reasons, but mostly to either feel better or to party. Addicts need to feel better. They need the drug just to get by. What is missing, what are the voids in their lives that create the urge to seek the drug as a solution? Even after they have gone through detoxification, there is still that pattern of behavior to deal with.ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS offers insight.The second step to break the addiction and failure says that: “we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”That’s the key to breaking the addiction cycle. We are not able to control our behavior and we know we need outside help. For theists, that power is God, however they understand God. For atheists, that power has to come from something else. If there is no power greater than one’s self, perhaps the power is an intellectual construct, a principle, a power that comes just from believing in something. We are all body, mind and spirit. However you define that greater power, it is something that affects the spirit. Important questions need to be asked: How do I experience myself? How do I experience others? How do I experience the world? How do I experience the relationship I have with that higher power?The individual answers to these questions give insight into the voids in our lives. Understanding the voids and allowing those voids to be filled with something other than the drug, is how the pattern is broken. The power comes from outside of us, much like an electronic device needs to be plugged into the wall to function. The Third Step in breaking the addiction and failure The third step is surrendering to that power. Coming from a Judeo-Christian background, this writer believes that man was made in the image of God, who is spirit. The power greater than ourselves is that God who connects with our spirit. But there are so many different understandings of God, which is why “as we understood him” in that third step is so important. The theology is very diverse and this is not the place to discuss all of the differences. The pattern is broken when our lives are no longer controlled by the drug, with the understanding that any subsequent use of the drug might trigger the whole pattern again. We need to stay “plugged in” to that outside power source.
What does belief in God have to do with Solutions for Addictions/
Many Solutions for Addiction assume: “Recovery is not complete until we become spiritual.” Those words began the presentation by Ashok Baldi, MD, at the 42nd annual Spring Conference of the Wisconsin Association of Alcohol and Other Drug Addiction. He added that healing does not come from doctors, healing “comes from the hand of God.”From there Ashok Baldi shared from his experiences with patients at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital (Wauwatosa, WI). He called addiction a “search for the spirit.” Addicts, said Ashok Baldi, need to search for the spirit within themselves and the universe. He desires to teach them to get “high on life.” The addict needs to make the connection between the “ego and the soul.” The task of the healer is to get to their story, and he added that we need to become the “fly on the wall,” to observe our own behavior in the moment. What does a person feel when something happens?He talked of the three states a person is in—awake, asleep and dreaming. What happens in between these states, or as Ashok Baldi put it, in the fourth state, the void? Ashok Baldi drew on the spiritual to fill the void.Ashok Baldi drew from his Hindu background and understanding to make a connection with the patient’s Roman Catholic background. These two seemingly opposite worldviews came together in a significant way to help the patient through their addiction. Addicts hope for healing and Ashok Baldi used the image of the famous sculpture by Michelangelo, “The Pieta,” as a metaphor for self-care. In doing so, Ashok Baldi helped the patient make a vital connection between a childhood experience and her present day struggle. Ashok Baldi was helping the patient see the sculpture as “holding the body of the addict” until healing comes.
For more information on breaking Solutions for Addiction go to Treatment
Solutions for Addiction Solutions for Addiction Solutions for Addiction Solutions for Addiction Solutions for Addiction Solutions for Addiction Solutions for Addiction Solutions for Addiction Solutions for Addiction Solutions for AddictionThis site contains six MAIN pages that EVERYONE should read:
Read these six pages and learn what you need to know to spot addiction in: Yourself… Your Family… Your Friends… Your Community…The rest of the pages are there for your reference to explain important topics in more detail.
Finally don’t miss the Spiritual and 12-step sections to fully explore how understanding THE SPIRIT can lead to recovery!