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Substance Abuse and Alcoholism: How the Church can Make A Difference

Additionally, there are people in the church that have an addiction problem. If they feel that their problem is not going to be addressed objectively, they are likely to continue hiding their addiction problems. They are most probably going to be more concerned about their reputation than addressing their drug problem.

12 Step, AA, and 12 Step Programs

To be sure, faith-based programs have been proven to be effective in addressing alcoholism and illicit drug use, but only when they address the problem using the evidence-based approach. Currently, AA, NA and the 12 step programs are mainly offered at faith based treatment centers across the country.

However, granted their proximity to the community, churches are in a good position to raise awareness about these programs for people with alcohol or drug abuse problem. Faith-based programs are designed to tap into the addict’s spiritual beliefs to give them the strength they need to get through the journey to recovery.

One advantage of the faith-based programs like AA and NA are more affordable than conventional rehabilitation programs. Recovering addicts can attend these programs and share experiences with others who are working to get better.

In addition,Faith-based systems can:

  • Provide spiritual support
  • Recognizing addiction as an illness that can be treated and not just a moral issue
  • Organizing and hosting recovery groups

Image: Andy Grizzell

The church can enhance its outreach on alcoholism and drug abuse by including other aspects of the programs not offered by traditional faith-based programs like AA. This includes detoxification which is critical for people who are addicted to opioids and illicit drugs.

Relapses can be prevented by linking addicts with vocational opportunities. This can be achieved by working closely with other agencies within the community that has taken of the challenge of addressing alcoholism and addiction. These networks can also be used to report cases of overdoses or when someone shows signs of the substance abuse problem.

Rather than leave the problem of drug abuse to treatment centers, the church can use its position to make an impact on the community. Churches can organize seminars to inform young people about the dangers of drug abuse and alcoholism. They can provide an effective and affordable option for people looking to overcome their addiction and turn their lives around for the better.



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Category: Ministry, Spring 2019

About the Author: Sharon Torres is a freelance writer who is chronicling her experiences through this thing called life. She believes that if you always move forward in life then there is no need to look back. Her favorite writer is Phillip K. Dick. Sharon’s blog:

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