Many individuals live their daily lives with a deep connection to spirituality and religion. It can be helpful when dealing with a health issue, a relationship issue or perhaps trouble in their career or life. Some individuals turn to religion when they are seeking help for serious difficulties in their life, like problems with substance abuse. But can God and religion truly help those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol?
According to So Help Me God: Substance Abuse, Religion and Spirituality, a study released by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, spirituality and religion do have an important place in preventing or resolving substance abuse problems. The study finds that adults and teens who participate in weekly religious services are less likely to smoke, drink or use illicit drugs. It also finds that individuals who are undergoing professional rehabilitation treatment and concurrently attending spiritual services are more likely to achieve and maintain sobriety.
Former US Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Joseph Califano Jr., points out that combining the power of God, religion and spirituality with physical and medical substance abuse treatment and prevention is far more effective than either one attempting to work alone. Because both the decision to use drugs and the decision to resolve one’s drug use are spiritual in nature, it is easy to understand why spirituality is an important part of rehabilitation and can affect better rehabilitation results.
Narconon Arrowhead’s Spiritual Services
Narconon Arrowhead is a non-religious rehabilitation center that yet understands the vital importance of spiritual enlightenment during drug treatment. More than simple “drug withdrawal” treatment, the Narconon program is in-depth and includes many phases that are designed to thoroughly address and resolve an individual’s drug use and bring them to a better understanding of life itself.
The Narconon program teaches students to respect the religious beliefs of others, whether one agrees with those beliefs or not. The Narconon program also teaches students that life has many parts – eight to be specific – that interact and affect one another, and one must understand and address all eight “dynamics” in order to live a healthy, happy life. In order, these eight dynamics are: self; spouse, children and family; groups; mankind; all living things; the physical world; self as a spiritual being; and god or the supreme being. An individual’s drug use can therefore affect not only self, but also the remaining seven dynamics, including their spirituality and god dynamics. It is during successful rehabilitation treatment that many individuals find or reconnect with spirituality and religion they had once ignored or lost due to drug use.
Narconon Arrowhead staff and program students are given the opportunity to attend local religious services that adhere to their personal belief systems. Many staff and students have attended services at local Christian churches and found love, fellowship and encouragement with pastors, reverends, priests and congregation members.
In addition to the opportunity to attend local church services, Narconon Arrowhead staff and students can attend Bible study groups at the facility itself. Narconon Arrowhead staff member Anthony Masters, who graduated from Bible College with a Bachelors Degree of Theology, has taken it upon himself to offer a Bible study group during his off hours. Anthony’s group meets three times a week for fifteen minutes in the morning and reads a passage out of the Bible. The passage is discussed amongst the group members until it is thoroughly understood by all, and the session is ended in prayer. Anthony feels that understanding oneself as a spiritual being is one of the most important realizations one can have in life. The staff and students who participate in his group look forward to the study sessions, finding new principles to learn and apply in life.