Jehovah’s Witnesses Beliefs On Drug And Alcohol Rehab

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in 1 true and Almighty God, named Jehovah, who is the Creator of the universe. There are over 8 million Witnesses worldwide. Many more attend meetings or Bible study programs, but to be an official member you must be actively preaching the word of Jehovah. Congregations are overseen by a body of elders, or spiritually mature men who take the lead and care for the members so they may do God’s will. A Governing Body comprised of a small group of mature Christians oversees the direction for the Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide by formulating doctrines, managing publications, and administering donated assets. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the Bible is God’s inspired message to humans; it is interpreted literally and used as the final authority for all beliefs.

Jehovah’s Witnesses recognize 3 big problems that appeal to the weakness of the flesh: Alcoholism and drug abuse, smoking, and masturbation (also known as self-abuse). The modern secular world makes it difficult to overcome these temptations, with alcohol and cigarettes being available and commonly advertised, pornography easily accessible, and drug use increasingly more common. Fortunately, these weaknesses can be overcome with treatment that includes medical supervision, Bible study, prayer, and trusting congregational members for moral support. The congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses encourages drug and alcohol rehab for those struggling to maintain a clean, sober, faithful life.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses And Alcohol Rehab

Alcohol can be used as an aid for relaxation and bring pleasure to some; however, it can pose both physical and moral dangers. The Bible warns against drunkenness, which can lead to being expelled from the congregation or barred from the Kingdom. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe you can drink moderately and still have a serious fault, so it is best to abstain from drinking completely. The congregation recognizes that certain people are predisposed to alcoholism due to genetics, but they believe that anyone is able to overcome substance abuse with enough will power and faith in God. Spiritual immaturity can make it more difficult to overcome alcohol addiction, so it is important for Jehovah’s Witnesses to follow Biblical standards and seek help from the congregation. For treatment and recovery to be successful, the following help is needed:


First, a person must be safely detoxed from alcohol. Sometimes, this requires hospitalization so alcohol-related health problems and withdrawal can be treated.


A person must learn about alcohol abuse and become aware of and accept all logical reasons to abstain. Knowledge is important to help in a lifelong battle to maintain sobriety.


One must learn to live comfortably with themselves and others.


It’s important to learn to cope with anxiety and other negative feelings that may lead to drinking.


Alcoholism leads to hopelessness and fear, but faith in God and his word can help inspire hope, confidence, and trust.

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Depending on a person’s level of dependency on alcohol or drugs, they may require intensive treatment at a rehabilitation facility or recovery program. Rehab centers have staff from many disciplines including physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and trained social workers. Usually, a person will go through a thorough education process to learn about alcoholism and how to accept it. Jehovah’s Witnesses also believe there is a relationship between the risk of alcohol addiction and nutrition, so building up physical health through proper eating habits can help a person with alcohol cravings.

In addition to medical detoxification and following a healthy diet, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe group therapy sessions can help a person learn to cope emotionally without resorting to alcohol. Those struggling with alcohol abuse are encouraged to seek someone knowledgeable and sympathetic, such as a congregation member who has been in the same shoes. Peer support can inspire hope and lets the alcoholic know that they, too, can recover.

Jehovah’s Witnesses And Drug Rehab

The Bible does not mention the use of tobacco, Marijuana, or other modern substances. However, it does contain principles that show that God does not approve of unhealthy and unclean habits such as smoking or drug use. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the following principles:

Respect For Life

Life is a gift from God, so you should not do anything that would shorten your life, such as smoking.

Love Of Neighbor

Substance abuse can harm those who love us and tear families apart. In addition, secondhand smoke from cigarettes can subject all those around to the same diseases that smokers suffer from.

The Need To Be Holy

Smoking is unnatural and incompatible with being holy or clean and pure. Tobacco users intentionally consume toxins that seriously harm their body.

The Need To Control Our Mental Faculties

A person who is abusing drugs cannot fully control their mind, and many become dependent. The mind begins to focus on how to obtain and use drugs instead of uplifting thoughts that serve God.

Obedience To Secular Laws

The Bible states that to please God, you must obey secular authorities. In many places, the law strictly prohibits the use of certain drugs.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Gods wants us to be free, not only from practices that harm our body but also from those that corrupt the sprit. As a person grows in appreciation and respect for Jehovah, they recognize that they cannot give God their best while remaining enslaved to a harmful habit. Following Bible principles will not always be easy, but the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation believes that, when a person is moved by their strong love for God, obedience is not a burden.

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Jehovah’s Witness And Addiction Treatment

Jehovah’s Witnesses recognize the importance of detoxing and going through rehabilitation but believe there is a high chance of relapse if the person’s energy is not redirected towards something positive. There are 4 divine aids that can help you overcome addiction:

  1. Read the Bible regularly, drawing strength from it.
  2. Pray to God daily, seeking comfort and aid. It is important to ask God for forgiveness in order to have a fresh start.
  3. Ask God for his holy spirit, or active force, to help with self-control and coping.
  4. Draw upon help available from mature Christians. Taking an elder into your confidence can greatly help you on your road to recovery.

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If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses and attending Christian meetings can help you acquire the strength to overcome any habit that does not please God. Jehovah’s Witnesses have a deep respect for the gift of life and abstain from activities that can shorten your life, damage your health, or harm the people around you. For more information, contact a treatment provider today.

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Ginni Correa

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  • Ginni Correa is a Latinx writer and activist living in Orlando,FL. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and double majored in Psychology and Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies. After graduation, Ginni worked as an educator in public schools and an art therapist in a behavioral health hospital where she found a passion working with at-risk populations and advocating for social justice and equality. She is also experienced in translating and interpreting with an emphasis in language justice and creating multilingual spaces. Ginni’s mission is to build awareness and promote resources that can help people transform their lives. She believes in the importance of ending stigma surrounding mental health and substance abuse while creating more accessible treatment in communities. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, crafting, and attending music festivals.

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Deborah Montross Nagel

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  • Deborah has a Master’s Degree from Lesley University and has been certified as an Addictions Counselor in PA since 1986. She is currently a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor – CAADC. She is  nationally certified as a MAC – Master Addictions Counselor – by NAADAC (The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors). Her 37 years of experience and education are in addiction, recovery, and codependency. Addiction affects the entire system around the addict. There is no "bad guy" in the system. Fight the addiction, and help the addict. I help loved ones restore sanity to their lives and hence encourage change. Recovery is possible!

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