The Episcopal Church And Addiction Principles
- “Addiction is a Disease – The Diocese of (location of district) acknowledges that alcohol and drug abuse is a disease that affects the brain, and it is a major health concern in our society.”
- “Addiction Destroys Relationships – We understand that such alcohol and drug abuse impairs the body, mind and spirit of the abuser, thus disrupting supportive relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. It is a spiritual disease that impairs one’s relationship with God.”
- “Addiction is Treatable – We agree with health authorities that alcohol and drug addiction can affect any individual, regardless of social, educational or financial status. However, the disease is treatable.”
- We are Called to A Healing Ministry – We especially acknowledge the need for guidance and for a healing ministry for those who abuse alcohol or other drugs and also for those who have close personal relationships with them. We encourage parishes to provide opportunities for education and conversation about the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs.”
- “Therefore, we call on all clergy and lay people to take to heart the seriousness of alcohol and drug abuse and to offer forth the love of Christ in his healing ministry to those persons and families facing addiction. We also encourage the application of moderation and sensitivity in all matters to ensure the offering of a safe and welcoming house of worship to people in recovery.”
The Episcopal Attitude Toward Recovery
The modern addiction viewpoint is mirrored in the Episcopal’s conception of recovery. Members, including their families, struggling with the impact and consequences of addiction to drugs and alcohol are supported within their church and encouraged to seek treatment in groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon, Adult Children of Alcoholics, and more. There are specific Episcopal rehab options available; however, they are less abundant than the previously mentioned options.
The church emphasizes the importance of faith in the process of healing. As stated in their principles, addiction is “a spiritual disease that impairs one’s relationship with God.” This viewpoint bolsters the support members receive within their church communities but also the importance of finding Christian specific recovery options. Alcoholics Anonymous, albeit not considered to be religious, is a common choice for its ubiquity and its history of involvement in the 12-step program.
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Recovery Ministries Of The Episcopal Church
Originally known as the “National Episcopal Coalition on Alcohol and Drugs,” the Episcopal Recovery Ministries function as an independent network of Episcopal organizations focused on addiction.
Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church Mission:
- “To serve all those affected by addition who have lost their health and freedom.”
- “Help the addicted and those who love them connect with spiritual resources and find lasting recovery.”
- “Witness to Christ’s unfailing mercy by welcoming unchurched members of Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery programs into an Episcopal faith community.”
- “Raise the awareness of clergy and other leaders about the disease of addiction and the redemption and grace found in recovery.”
- “Strengthen recovery Episcopalians in the work of their recovery and help proclaim the Gospel in the world and carry their recovery into the Church.”
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Are You Struggling?
Many of the ideas espoused by the Episcopal church ring true throughout the field of addiction and recovery. Addiction is a treatable disease, and a big part of the treatment is support from others. It may seem more comfortable to attempt to quit using alcohol and drugs alone, but detoxing and recovering alone is always more dangerous and often leads to a return to using substances. If substance use disorders are part of your life, reach out to a treatment provider today who can help to explore available treatment options.
Ashish Bhatt, MD, MRO
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Learn about Dr. Ashish Bhatt
Dr. Bhatt has been Addiction Center's Medical Content Director for more than three years, providing his expertise to ensure quality and accuracy.
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Expert in adult and child psychiatry
Over 20 years of professional experience