How can I help someone whom I suspect may have a drinking or drug problem?

Ask them if they feel they have a problem and if they would like to talk with someone about it. Often the alcoholic or addict does not see the correlation between problems in their life and their alcohol or drug abuse. A non-judgmental and caring approach may be the beginning of the help they need. Most secular and religious residential drug treatment centers will conduct an anonymous assessment free of charge.

What happens in treatment?

Think of substance abuse treatment as Basic Training. An initial assessment determines the best level of care (intensity). Treatment includes continuous abstinence, education, individual and group counseling, family counseling, spiritual reflection, recreation, and work toward individualized treatment goals.

Is A. A. compatible with our faith tradition?

A.A. or other Twelve Step participation provides a foundation for a lifetime of recovery. The majority of treatment programs have the Twelve Steps at their core. Virtually any member of a Jewish, Christian or Muslim community will see the components of a robust spirituality reflected in the Twelve Steps. Recognition of and surrender to a supreme being, self examination, restitution, prayer and meditation, and service to others are all essential elements of the Twelve Step approach to recovery.

Is addiction a sin?

Addiction is not a sin. But poor moral, even illegal, choices inevitably follow from continued substance abuse or addiction. Alcoholism is a chronic disease just like diabetes or hypertension according to the AMA. Just as one cannot “quit” diabetes or high blood pressure, the alcoholic must also have outside help to stop.

For the person of faith confronting addiction in themselves or those they love…

Why can’t I (he) stop drinking?

If you or a loved one has tried to stop drinking and failed, it is possible that the disease of alcoholism is the reason why. Faith and prayer may be the solution for some. But for the alcoholic, help from others can be the answer to a prayer.