Sunday, September 11, 2011

God Will Make You Sober

[he's not "getting it"]

In 2001, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University published a study concerning the link between monotheism and sobriety.

The study found that God, religion, and spirituality were key factors for many in the prevention and treatment of their substance abuse and in continuing recovery.

Adults who did not consider religious beliefs important were more than one and one-half times likelier to use alcohol and cigarettes, more than three times likelier to binge drink, almost four times likelier to use an illicit drug other than marijuana, and more than six times likelier to use marijuana than adults who strongly believed that religion was important. 

Teens who never attended religious services were twice as likely to drink, more than three times likelier to use marijuana and binge drink, and almost four times likelier to use illicit drugs than teens who attended religious services at least weekly. 

In the context of treatment, individuals who attended spiritually based support programs, such as 12-Step programs of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, in addition to receiving treatment, were more likely to maintain sobriety.

The essence of addiction recovery and prevention seems to be to train people to find true solace in a belief in and trust in God during times of stress, rather than a self destructive false solace in substance abuse. (For example see A Natural History of Alcoholism page 193.)


Yedid Nefesh said...

I had to attend an AA meeting for class, trust me it was quite interesting! and the 12 steps are fundamentally based on God, even though it doesn't require any religious affiliation

jewish philosopher said...

I think almost everyone suffers in life and if we don't find comfort in God then we find it in alcohol or other even more toxic chemicals.

What substance abuse really boils down to is the following:

If you binge drink (meaning 100 ml of alcohol within three hours; for example a six pack of beer or a bottle of wine at a sitting) more than three times per year or

If you use illegal drugs more than once a year (including pain killers which were not legally prescribed to you)

Then: you need to completely stop drinking and drugging and become a devoted member of a church or synagogue.

If you don't, you will gradually have increasing legal, financial, family, professional, social and health problems until you eventually die prematurely.