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The majority of addiction treatment programs are based on the 12 step program, which is faith based. You may wonder what faith has to do with recovering from addiction, but the connection between faith and recovery is vitally important.

Addiction Is an Illness

On one level, addiction is an illness like any other. However, unlike any other illness, its effects result in destructive patterns of behavior that affect both the addict and the people close to them in a way that no other illness does. While addiction treatment has a range of therapies, the most important component of effective treatment is a deep and radical self-examination of the patient’s life.

No other illness demands the stripping bare of a soul in such a fashion, one that exposes the addict’s past delusions, dependencies and weaknesses, along with the trail of destruction caused by the addiction. Yet this is the way the addict must begin to rebuild their life, by letting go of control of their old life completely and handing control of their lives from that point to a higher power. The addict must decide to turn their will and their lives over to the care of God, whatever their definition of God may be. Recovery requires complete faith to be successful. This is why there is a strong connection between faith and recovery.

What is Faith?

Many people think that belief and faith are synonymous but there is an important difference between the two concepts. They shouldn’t be confused. To be clear, what is the definition of belief? It is a principle, a proposition or an idea that has been accepted as true. Belief is usually based on results, hence the saying, “Seeing is believing.” Belief needs some sort of proof to exist.

Faith is a more deeply held knowing that you know, a knowledge that is felt in every fiber of your being. Faith is seeing the outcome in your heart and mind and knowing that it is real even if it hasn’t materialized yet. Faith in recovery is the ultimate, complete and utter trust in the power of the unseen God to guide the recovering addict in their new life, whatever their concept of God may be.

Faith in Recovery

Central to any successful addiction treatment program is the patient’s hopeful, optimistic attitude and courageous commitment that focuses on strengths. Not only is their faith in God vitally important, but also faith in the process itself which enables the recovering addict to believe in its successful outcome as well as his or her own ability to see the program through to the end. Faith and recovery go hand in hand.

The majority of recovering addicts have to face up to some combination of damaged relationships, loss of home, loss of employment, compromised health, and the loss of respect and trust of others. They have usually lost their dignity and self-respect in the process. For many, their addiction has destroyed all that they once had and believed they could be.

While these factors are all too painfully obvious to the friends and family who have been close to the addict, the addict has been hiding from the realities of their actions. Facing up to the damage that addiction has wrought to themselves and others is the first step to freeing themselves. It is also the hardest step to take.

Overcoming past behavior and actions that have guided their life for so long can sound tough. Relinquishing control of their life and putting faith in a higher power can seem like the toughest thing of all. Yet, it is the most freeing thing anyone can do with their lives. Faith is the ultimate freedom.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Matthew 17:20 “He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there”’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Luke 17:6 “And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye would say unto this sycamore tree, Be thou rooted up, and be thou planted in the sea; and it would obey you.”

Albert Black

Albert Black is the founder and CEO of Recovery in the Pines, the premier Christian-based, extended-care, addiction treatment center, located in Prescott, AZ, offering holistic wellness for drug and alcohol dependency. For more information about Recovery in the Pines, go to its website at: http://recoveryinthepines.com/ or contact Albert Black by phone at: (928) 308-4311 or email at: albertblack@recoveryinthepines.com