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Theories of Addiction Essay Example

Addiction is a condition that forces people to engage in a certain activity for a long time. For example, a person may ingest drug or alcoholic beverages for his/her pleasure (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013). However, these practices may become a habit. As a result, it can create issues in one’s ordinary life responsibilities. Besides, in most conditions, addicts cannot realize that their behaviors are out of control. Their actions may also cause problems to them and their friends and relatives. Furthermore, drug and alcohol addiction may entail health problems, aggression, violent behavior, and chronic diseases. Studies show that drug addictions and abuses are increasing in the United States day by day (Adam, Ahmad, & Fatah, 2011). Hence, these crises affect the American economy. A recent report of National Institute of Drug Abuse also shows that every year 7 million Americans take the prescription drugs for non-medical use (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013). Additionally, addiction causes different social issues as it destroys interpersonal relationships. The drug addicts may also involve in various serious crimes, such as homicide, street robberies, and self-destruction (Bai & Stackhouse, 2010).

Religious Rules and Regulations

Moreover, social scientists, philosophers, and experts developed different theories addressing addiction. Especially, the Christian worldview theories guide people in developing their lives by avoiding addictive substance. These theories have different strength and weakness. However, experts apply these religious rules and regulations to support addiction rehabilitation centers. Furthermore, the Christian faith-based recovery theory is one of the most effective approaches that help addicts to reduce the consumption of alcohol and drugs. This theory explains various Christian-based processes of recovery that help addicts to avoid drugs and alcoholic beverages (Adam, Ahmad, & Fatah, 2011). The following paper analyzes the faith-based recovery theory, discusses its philosophy, strength, weakness, and counseling methods and provides a discussion about sin, forgiveness, and God’s sovereignty.

Alcohol and drug addictions have severe negative impacts on a person’s life. They also create serious issues with an addict’s family and friends. Besides, currently, children grow up in a society where they can easily access the alcoholic beverages and drugs. Therefore, the Christian ministry applies faith-based recovery theory to support the inhabitants of different communities. The theory considers God as the sponsor of all good things. Hence, the Bible can protect people from different evils. Moreover, the theory consists of twelve steps that define an addict’s mental and psychological state (Bai & Stackhouse, 2010).

This approach also uses three ways to reduce addiction:

  • First of all, the Christian self-help groups guide people in avoiding the habit of addiction by following religious laws.
  • Secondly, they offer professional treatment programs to help addicts and their families. Besides, currently, hundreds of Christian rehab treatment centers provide free services to the US citizens.
  • Thirdly, they apply different counseling techniques that help people to understand the side effects and drawbacks of using drugs and alcohol (Huebner & Kantor, 2011).

Studies show that in the eighteenth century the American people started to face the serious issues of addiction. They drank more beer than water because the drinking water was not clean and safe (Huebner & Kantor, 2011). However, in a short time alcohol addicts started to show violent and sinful behavior. People became morally weak and aggressive. They also started to do antisocial activities due to the addiction. Moreover, in 1944, addiction became the fourth largest health concern (Bai & Stackhouse, 2010). Hence, the Christian missionaries developed addiction etiology theories. Experts improved these addiction control methods in between 1960s and 1980s. Furthermore, they introduced Christian faith-based recovery theory to address various addiction issues. The Christian experts defined that addiction is a sinful nature of mankind. It creates biological and psychological effects in people’s body. Therefore, Christian missionaries offer the theological approach to solving these problems (McDonough, 2012).

Besides, some past addicts believe that religious practices helped them to save themselves from addiction. Studies show that some addicts want to get rid of their bad habits. Hence, they join churches, missions, and other community religious meetings to realize their addictive problems. The Christian also organizations provide different religious services that teach people how to follow the rituals and regular prayers. Moreover, in 1826 David Nasmith created a religious rescue mission in Scotland (Welch, 2001). This organization offered food, shelter and other services for the drug addicts. Furthermore, in early 1900s the Christian missionaries established more than 100 rescue missions that used religious theories to heal the patients. In early 20th century religious leaders also noticed that religious practices reduce addiction and it improves people’s intellectual powers. Additionally, in 1902, the Harvard psychologist William James reported that religious theories help people to analyze their intellectual power and conscious mind. Thus, the Christian faith-based theory aids people to reduce addiction (Bai & Stackhouse, 2010).

Philosophy of the Faith-based Recovery Theory

The faith-based recovery theory contains 12 steps of human philosophy that guide addicts how to avoid drugs and alcohol. This theory conjugates with secular programs and it provides opportunities for religious involvement. The key element of faith-based recovery theory is to acknowledge God to receive His help and support to get relief from different crises. Therefore, the 12 step prayer method follows the scriptures of Bible. These prayer steps consist of moral and ethical philosophies that can reform an addict’s life. The first step defines that an addict should admit that he/she is powerless over his/her addiction. Hence, his/her life has become unmanageable. Moreover, this step follows the Roman 7:18 scripture (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013). The second step guides a person to believe that a power greater than him/her can restore his/her abilities. Furthermore, the Bible, Philippians 2:13 scripture says that God works in one’s soul to fulfill a good purpose (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013). The third step of the prayer helps an individual to take a decision to turn his/her will and life with the mercy of God. This step also suggests people to offer their bodies to God as the living sacrifice. As a result, they can get relief from their internal troubles (McDonough, 2012).

In addition, the fourth step lets a person find the fearless and moral inventory of his/her inner soul. Thus, the almighty God can examine a human’s ways of life. The fifth step guides addicts to admit their faults in front of God and society. This confession also helps the addicts to realize their mistakes. Additionally, the sixth step aids people to humble themselves to receive positive power by removing their defects. This stage follows the James 4:10 scripture of Bible that says that the God lifts up a helpless person, if he/she requests Him to receive the positive power (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013). The seventh step of prayer teaches people to apologize God for their shortcomings. Thus, the almighty God forgives the addicts’ sins. The eighth step follows the Luke 6:31 scripture that helps addicts to make a list of people that they harmed (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013). It also guides them to amend their relationships with those victims. The ninth step of the theory teaches addictive people to offer compensation to the people whom they harmed. This stage suggests addicts to offer gifts and prayers to their brothers and sisters, whom they treated badly or harmed unconsciously. The Mathew 5:23-24 scripture explains that initially the victims may show anger to the addict (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013).

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However, the latter should try their best to offer their apology. The tenth step guides people to continue their personal inventory by admitting their faults. Besides, this point teaches addicts to follow the reformed life strictly. The eleventh step helps addicts to improve their conscious contact with God by practicing regular prayer. Finally, the twelfth step advises addicts to guide others to avoid alcohol and drug by practicing the effective principles of life. Thus, this step of faith-based recovery theory assists people to get rid of the addiction (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013).

The faith-based recovery theory believes that God takes away one’s addiction and other bad habits when he/she practices Christian religious rituals and prayers. The religious practices in psychological care started in 1906 in Emmanuel Church Clinic, Boston. It was the first treatment in the United States that dealt with the psychological disorders, such as addiction. Furthermore, the therapy was effective for hundreds of patients. Hence, the psychologists informed that self-inventory and the confession procedure of faith-based recovery theory help people to develop their positive powers. Later, Dr. Bob Smith and Wilson introduced the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) approach to introduce people the twelve-step concept (Welch, 2001). The AA method also applied faith-based recovery theory and described the philosophy that addicts cannot overcome their habits on their own. They must devote their lives to a higher power that assists them to seek the spiritual path. This treatment showed more interest in spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection. Hence, a large number of addicts joined the alcohol rehabilitation process to get relief from their psychological disorders. Additionally, this process helped Christian missionaries to demonstrate their religious rituals more efficiently (Welch, 2001). Currently, the Christian-based recovery facilities teach people to create fearless conscious minds that avoid substance abuse and other antisocial activities. These services also apply regular meditation and religious assembly functions that help patients to improve their health (Welch, 2001).

Strength and Weakness of the Faith-based Recovery Theory

The faith-based recovery theory is one of the most effective addiction control theories. However, it has different strength and weakness. Sometimes, it helps addicts, but in some conditions it may not show results to the patients who are atheists or do not have strong feeling about a specific religion (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013).


The faith-based recovery theory distinguishes religious approach and various secular services. It analyzes the roles of environmental, psychological or biological conditions that often harm the patients. Additionally, the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which is recognized by the US Supreme Court, applies the 12-step method of this theory (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013). Hence, the mainstream medicine and insurance companies accepted these methods. Moreover, the faith-based recovery services provide treatment for minimal fees. They help people from lower socio-economic strata to develop their lives by avoiding alcohol and drug addiction. Besides, the majority of the faith-based programs are Christian. However, they also offer services to the non-Christians. Furthermore, the theory guides addicts to reform their lives by following Christian religious rituals. Sometimes, people may become the victims of their community. For example, a person may live in a neighborhood where most of the people consume drugs and alcohol regularly. As a result, such environment may influence the individual to become an addict. On the other hand, some people start to abuse alcohol when they face challenges in achieving their goals (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013). Addiction may help these individuals to avoid pain and stress of their working lives. Therefore, they start to consume alcohol and become the addicts. However, the faith-based recovery theory deals with various major and minor addictive cases. It explains that substance abuse is a sin and it can cause separation of human being from God. The theory also teaches that people may recover their normal lives by accepting the presence of Jesus Christ. Besides, the Christian missionaries apply subsequent processes of sanctification that help people to avoid their mistakes (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013).

Moreover, the faith-based recovery theory creates progressive growth in holiness that makes a connection between the addicts and the Holy Spirit. It provides a driving force to the patients that passionately emphasize that the addicts can get relief from pain and stress, if they follow religious addiction control approaches. Furthermore, this theory and Christian addiction treatment address group therapies, detoxification procedures, and social support programs. The Christian missionaries also use this theory to offer additional free services in some remote communities. They organize seminars and other substance abuse control meetings to explain the role of people in the society. The religious leaders also describe how an addict can avoid drugs and alcohol by applying the 12-step methods. Besides, the experts use the faith-based recovery theory in outpatient and residential based hospitals. A patient may get discharge from these facilities whenever he/she wants to leave. Some scholars consider that faith-based services have better results than traditional addiction control service (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013). These programs offer additional private and group prayer session, Bible studies, pastoral counseling, and religious meetings and seminars. These services guide the patients to avoid their faults and sins. In addition, this theory and Christian religious services consider that a person’s sociological, biological, and psychological disorders are the results of spiritual disorders. Thus, the faith-based service helps to recreate an inherent relationship between the addicts and God. Additionally, the theory explains that resentment, laziness and pride are the mortal sins in Christianity. Hence, the experts relate these behaviors with the personalities of addicts. For example, an alcoholic may unconsciously show anger, and pride in the society. Thus, he/she starts to break his/her relationship with God. Nevertheless, the faith-based recovery service helps people restore their spiritual powers, ethical values, and moral responsibilities (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013).


The faith-based addiction recovery theory is one of the most popular theories that experts use in addiction control process. However, this theory and service have some weak points. Moreover, some scholars believe that this approach have not proven effective results (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013). These 12-step disorder control methods are religious, but not scientific. Hence, traditional rehabilitation process is safer than the faith-based services. Additionally, traditional medical experts and psychologists consider that addiction is a mental disorder (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005). Therefore, this treatment requires efficient medications and therapies to heal the disorders. However, in faith-based recovery program the religious leaders use only prayer and meditation processes to cure this issue. The healthcare experts also claim that mental disorders need medical checkup in a short time (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005). However, the faith-based healing methods may waste time and it can make the situation worse. Furthermore, Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) is a form of faith-based recovery service and it is one of the most expensive rehabilitation programs. Reports show that the addicts need to pay approximately 1000$ a day for 28 days rehab program (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005). Besides, most of the patients drop out of this facility in a short time because it is expensive and ineffective. If an addict pays his/her money for this service and cannot receive fruitful results, then it can increase his/her mental and psychological stress. Studies show that the success rate of this program is below 10 percent (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013). The traditional medical rehabilitation centers, in their turn, have higher success rate than the faith-based recovery service (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005).

Many medical experts believe that the faith-based service provides a noble and spiritual support to the addicts (Pittman & Taylor, n.d.). However, this therapy is not enough to get relief from a complex addictive disorder. Moreover, these procedures may misguide an addict. For example, during faith-based group counseling process patients discuss their personal life stories and address their problems. However, medical experts found that these discussions do not help an addict to get a better environment. Additionally, some patients may have strong disbelief about religious rituals and seminars. Therefore, in that case patients may not feel the effects of daily prayers and spiritual programs. Nevertheless, medical scientists notice that the faith-based recovery program requires self-awareness and self-control. However, it believes that a person is powerless without God’s help. Hence, this method provides illogical evidence of spiritual power to address addiction (Pittman & Taylor, n.d.).

Sin, Forgiveness, and God’s Sovereignty

The Christianity considers addiction as a serious sin, which destroys a person’s relationship with God and creates difficult issues in family life. Often, addiction initiates strong urge for drugs or alcoholic beverages. As a result, sinners repeat the addictive behaviors regardless of its consequences. The Bible considers addiction as a sin, because it destroys one’s abilities to make a decision about his/her life. Besides, the religious leaders believe that religion has an effective psychological and physical health influence on the patients. It guides addicts to avoid substance abuse or other addictive conditions that can harm the patients and their friends and relatives. Moreover, studies show that one sin can initiate other sins. Thus, a patient may suffer from serious physical or mental issues. For example, if an addict does not control his/her behavior, then he/she can also face depression, stress, insomnia, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, Christian missionaries consider that daily prayers, spiritual practices and seminars can develop a person’s conscious mind. The church service attendance and Bible studies may also help a person to become calm, peaceful and self-disciplined. Thus, the individuals can understand their mistakes and improve their personalities (Onken & Blaine, 1990).

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Besides, the Bible and Christianity believe in forgiveness. Hence, the faith-based service follows the rules of the Bible and helps people to get relief from pain and disorder. Moreover, the Bible (Daniel 9:9) says that a lot of people rebel against God, but He is the prime source of mercy and forgiveness (Lyons, Deane, & Kelly, 2013). Hence, the faith-based organizations play an important role in the society by supporting the families that experience substance abuse problems. They also offer evidence-based services to the addicts by following the rules of Christianity (Carroll, 1998). Furthermore, these programs organize confession seminars for addicts. Thus, they can explain their issues and problems to God. Additionally, the faith-based recovery program teaches that God never gives up on His children and He always forgives the sinners if they come to Him with an upright heart. Therefore, the Christian missionaries always invite addicts and victims to share their troubles with God and His disciples (Crowe & Reeves, 1994). Moreover, the scriptures of Bible advise people to avoid anger, bitterness and rages. They also suggest human beings to become compassionate by forgiving each others. The holy scriptures teach that if people forgive each other then God forgives them for their mistakes. In addition, the Christian ministers advice addicts to love all human beings. It helps them to form a patient, kind, and extrovert personality. Love also guides them to reduce self-seeking nature, anger, and proud (Carroll, 1998). Likewise, the faith-based theory helps individuals to avoid their judging behaviors. The Christian experts suggest people to not judge or condemn others for their bad behavior. Thus, they can improve the forgiving soul (Onken & Blaine, 1990).

Furthermore, Christianity believes that God’s Sovereignty heals various disorders, diseases and other issues. Therefore, the primary framework of faith-based theory applies the twelve step addiction control method. A Christian-based group of experts from Oxford University designed these healing methods (Crowe & Reeves, 1994). Hence, these theories discuss a person’s inherent relationship with God. These processes also illustrate the concept of character flows that define the seven deadly sins of Christianity. These concepts consider that pride or greed can destroy a person’s social and personal life. These feelings create barrier between an individual and God. As a result, people suffer from immense pain and aggression. Studies show that thousands of families have social, moral and ethical issues in their day-to-day lives due to their selfish behavior towards spiritual powers (DiClemente, Bellino, & Neavins, 1999). Some people do not believe in God and they do whatever they want. Thus, sometimes they make incorrect decisions and suffer from stress. In the end, such people want to avoid these problems by consuming drugs or alcohol, and they become addicts (Carroll, 1998).

In conclusion, addiction is a psychological disorder that can cause severe harms to the human beings and different societies. Moreover, depression, anger, stress, and greed can initiate addiction, and it can destroy one’s social and personal life. Besides, alcohol and drug addictions may force people to avoid their responsibilities of ordinary life. Hence, a person may live in a virtual world with aggression and violent behavior. Furthermore, addiction can cause different health issues, such as chronic diseases and other mental illness. The drug addiction can also make a person weak or invalid. Hence, people should avoid addictive substances.

Different scientists, experts and religious leaders designed various theories that guide addicts to reform their lives. These approaches have different strengths and weaknesses. However, they guide people to develop their personalities. Besides, different scholars and experts designed faith-based recovery theory to help addicts and their relatives. This theory consists of twelve steps that guide people to follow various Christian rules and regulations. They also teach people to avoid different antisocial activities and feelings, such as, greed, aggression, and rude behavior. Additionally, the faith-based recovery theory follows the principles of the Bible. It teaches people to submit their souls to God by avoiding their bad habits. Furthermore, the theory guides people to believe that the almighty God is the prime source of all power. Hence, He can reform one’s life, if he/she avoids antisocial activities. Likewise, these steps help individuals to practice regular prayers. The prayers and seminars address different life issues that help addicts to understand the purpose of life. The theory also develops one’s decision-making behavior. Thus, an individual can create a fearless and positive soul. In addition, faith-based recovery service advises people to make a list of people that they harmed unconsciously. It suggests offering gift and support to the victims. The theory advises people to help others to restore their normal life. Thus, it helps people to avoid addiction.

However, faith-based recovery service has different weaknesses. Some scientists believe that the service does not provide effective results, because spiritual healing may not address medical problems. Some psychologists also claim that a patient may face complex situations if he/she does not receive the traditional treatments. Moreover, this service is expensive and it takes long time to heal. Besides, some patients may not believe in spiritual powers and Christianity. Hence, in such conditions, they may face challenges to restore their normal lives by practicing the faith-based theory. Nevertheless, most of theories have strengths and weaknesses. Hence, social experts and religious leaders should reform their healing methods and theories to provide effective service.

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