We can do a much better job of dealing with substance abuse if we recognize it is not just a “medical problem, ” as some say. It is also a mental health problem, a spiritual problem and for some it is a moral problem, a financial problem, and a relational problem. It will not be solved with a single approach. I have advocated for inclusion of spiritual education and faith-informed counseling for years…….but it simply doesn’t seem to have traction with agencies and thought leaders, although individuals, especially if they themselves have a strong spiritually-directed life, will acknowledge the value of including spiritual education and counseling. We have ministries going into jails, but there are far to many for whom that is simply not enough. A more comprehensive spiritual formation approach….. not just songs, preaching, testimonies, and Bible reading…. will help. A more intensive spiritual- psycho-social-educational approach, along with medication assisted treatment and mental health counseling is worth a try.
Talking about faith-informed care for substance abuse and other life-limiting dysfunctions:
Do you believe that a faith-informed approach to substance abuse treatment can be useful in a community based care model for substance abuse?
Have you participated in a faith-informed addiction recovery program?
If so, how long? Did you complete it? What were its strengths? What were its weaknesses?
Do you have a spiritual director, pastor, or spiritual friend who talks to you about spiritual issues related to the mental health or substance abuse issues in your life?
Do you have what you believe is a strong personal faith in God? How is your faith lived out in the day to day decisions you make? Do you have knowledge and practical skills you need for applying your faith everyday to decisions and challenges?
Do you attend regular spiritual teaching classes or worship services and fellowship regularly with people you know and whom you know care about your welfare?
Are you open to instruction on ways to address your addictive behavior from the perspective of spiritual education and development?