What is faith-based treatment?
Faith-Based Drug Treatment
Faith-based treatment can be an effective method of helping drug users overcome addiction. Often, faith-based people are afflicted with substance abuse disorders, and they often suffer intense secrecy. They fear being judged by their peers and destroying their witness to their faith. Faith-based treatments can offer a safe and confidential environment for people who are struggling with addiction. In addition to the treatment itself, faith-based programs usually involve daily spiritual practices. These practices have significant emotional and psychological effects.
People of faith can often experience intense shame and secrecy around drug addiction. For Christians, for example, drug use disorder is often a matter of shame, fear of judgment from their peers, and fear of having their disease ruin their witness to Christ. Faith-based treatment programs can help these individuals overcome feelings of shame and secrecy and allow them to participate in groups with other people of the same faith. While these treatment methods aren't for everyone, they can be effective for those struggling with substance use disorder.
Moreover, a faith-based treatment program acknowledges the emotional and spiritual pain that addiction causes. Faith-based treatment programs not only address physical needs but also spiritual ones. Besides helping recovering addicts overcome physical addictions, they also encourage spiritual growth, which can significantly improve their chances of maintaining sobriety. Faith-based treatment is ideal for people who are struggling with a spiritual crisis, as they can help them develop a closer connection to God.
While faith-based treatment isn't necessarily better than secular programs, it is often more effective for people of religious faith. The process of conversion to a new religion is similar to the behavioral change necessary for long-term sobriety. While it is possible that faith-based treatment is more effective for non-religious people, the evidence for faith-based treatment is mixed. In addition, many programs aren't one-size-fits-all.
One study showed that religious-based addiction programs are more effective than secular programs. Prison Fellowship Bible studies reduced the recidivism rate of New York prison inmates. After a year of participating in these Bible studies, only 14 percent had reoffended. In comparison, more than 40 percent of non-participants were rearrested within a year. This was a significant decrease in the number of people reoffending.
Its limitations for non-Christians
While most studies included Christian individuals, many of these studies also included non-Christian participants. While this is a desirable inclusion, there are important limitations to this type of treatment, which are discussed below. For example, some studies fail to consider the moral issues that may arise from the treatment of non-Christians. This makes such studies incomplete. Ultimately, a faith-based treatment must take into account the beliefs of the individuals involved.