Why Is Faith Important in Recovery?

Faith is often deemed a key component in the treatment and recovery process. Nearly 73% of treatment centers across the United States offer some sort of spirituality-based element in their programs. They recognize the contribution of faith in helping people overcome their substance use and preventing them from future relapse. Renowned 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) recognize faith to emphasize reliance on a God or higher power to secure or maintain sobriety. Although this belief is regularly associated with spirituality and religion, it is a powerful force even without attachment.

When substance use or addiction takes over an individual’s life, they will inevitably fall victim to self-doubt and lack of self-worth. It is essential to recognize faith as a powerful motivating force in healing, with or without religious intent. Faith is a necessary factor in helping people find the strength to achieve and maintain long-lasting recovery.

Does faith always imply religion in addiction recovery?

Many treatment centers acknowledge spirituality and religion through the all-encompassing word, faith. However, for those not spiritual or religious, faith still plays an essential role in an individual’s ability to recover.

Addiction can wreak havoc on an individual’s sense of self and understanding of the world around them. It can lead to distressing emotions, such as shame, guilt or blame. Most people who struggle with addiction will do so for years before they are ready to accept the help or need for change. Even while people experience ambivalence surrounding treatment and recovery, faith can help get the ball rolling.

When a person falls victim to the effects of addiction, self-doubt and lack of self-worth will commonly act as barriers to recovery. Faith can transform these emotions. When a person has faith in something, it offers a reassuring feeling that helps bring positive actions and behaviors to life. A remarkable transformation can occur when a person learns to have faith in themselves and their recovery.

Faith helps others to realize that they are never alone. Peers, mentors, professionals and loved ones are always available to support and guide people through their recovery journey. Faith also allows people to ask for help, accept help and foster forgiveness for themself and others. With it, individuals can recognize that everyone makes mistakes. Faith in something greater teaches people how to move on from the past and do the necessary things to become the best version of themselves for the future.

The value of a faith-based addiction recovery program.

Many substance use treatment programs offer faith-based programs that encourage patients to connect with a force that is greater than themselves. In many cases, faith may focus on connecting with a higher power, such as the universe or God. Connecting with a higher power can help challenge feelings of hopelessness, frustration and depression. Most 12-Step meetings encourage surrendering distressing feelings to a higher power to help them develop a greater sense of self-awareness and their surroundings.

Whether or not a program is specifically religious, most faith-based recovery approaches also emphasize the importance of meeting-making and fostering social connection. Long-lasting recovery requires individuals to build healthy relationships with themselves and support networks. For a person to build a healthy relationship with themselves, they need to be able to discover what brings meaning and purpose to their life. For a person to develop healthy relationships with others, they must be willingly vulnerable and recognize the innate human desire for social connection. Through support groups, individuals can learn how to exercise skills like compassion and empathy and reduce negative feelings that they may have toward themselves or others.

Faith-based programs emphasize essential principles necessary for achieving and sustaining long-term recovery. Several of these principles include:

  • Unconditional love
  • Compassion, empathy and kindness
  • Forgiveness
  • Honesty
  • Acceptance
  • Courage
  • Self-esteem, self-love and self-control
  • Awareness
  • Inner peace
  • Community

Does faith really matter in recovery?

Without faith, a person has no guiding force to lead them to success during their recovery journey. While some people need a higher power to help them reach sobriety, others will prosper from a personal belief in their ability to recover. This component is paramount as people will not likely achieve or maintain recovery if they do not have faith in their ability to do so.

Faith does play an essential role in both short-term and long-term recovery. It encourages people to recognize the power within themselves to actively begin the road to healing rather than sit back and wait for something — often negative — to happen that forces their recovery to start. Faith-based programs matter because they help create individualized treatment plans for patients that fit their unique needs and goals for treatment. Faith is not a dividing force. It is a unifying force and a game-changer for long-term recovery success.

DiscoveryMD is a treatment program dedicated to providing comprehensive substance use and mental health treatment. We offer faith-based programs, such as 12-step meetings, that will serve as vital resources for your recovery. We also provide several evidence-based treatment solutions to help patients become the best version of themselves. To learn more about our facility or for more about the importance of faith in recovery, contact us today.

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