As many young people in modern America are struggling with various forms of alcoholism, whether chronic drinking on a daily basis, or consuming extreme amounts of alcohol in the process of binge drinking, society must look inward to find ways to deal with the threats and issues that seek to pervade our lives. One such way that society has been able to do this throughout history is with religion, which has the power to build a person’s personal strength through community and inner-belief.
However, the religious facets of America must have the insight to learn how best to help lost souls struggling with the throes of addiction…
Higher power of recovery is inherent in religion
A very important step of the 12-step recovery program, one that is necessary to achieve personal growth, is the acceptance of a higher power. While this step doesn’t necessarily need to have a religious angle, as an atheist can accept a higher power by simply acknowledging that there are greater powers beyond their control, the entire concept of a higher power is inherent in a religious institution, making it a wonderful asset in the journey of addiction recovery, and a great step towards finding stability in life.
Traditionally religious married people are less likely to drink.
While religious institutions are a great venue for people to accept that there is a higher power in control of their lives, there is another benefit for religious people in the fight against addiction. Most religious adults, especially ones who are married and consider themselves more traditional, are far less likely to drink than other adults in their age group. As a matter of fact, men were likely to drink as much as 80% less, while women were likely to drink as much as 86% less, as opposed to their non-religious, single counterparts. While this may be partly due to single people drinking as a social activity, the role of religion cannot be ignored in this equation.
Religious communities must shy away from shame.
While religious communities are a great environment that stop many people from getting caught up in the throes of substance abuse, there is still a demon that American religions must work to wrestle within themselves. This struggle has to do with the immense shame that many addicts from these communities feel for their action. While most religious teachings warn about passing judgement on our fellow man, there is an undeniable tendency for many highly religious communities to use shame as a method in dealing with people who are pursuing undesirable behavior. This is dangerous, though, as the psychological effects of shame can often push an addict further away from those who would have otherwise been able to help.