The Mormon Faith and Drug and Alcohol Rehab
Addiction is a disease that affects millions of people across the United States, regardless of race, occupation, and religion – and this includes members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (commonly known as LDS or Mormon). Addiction can be particularly troubling to those of the LDS faith, as the religion stresses an emphasis on a sober lifestyle that begins at an early age, but there are many Mormon drug and alcohol rehab options available.
The Church’s teachings come from a guideline on health practices called the Word of Wisdom, which discourages Mormons from partaking in the use of any addictive substance, even coffee. A deep tenet of the LDS faith is the strict avoidance of alcohol, drugs (except in the form of prescription medication), cigarettes, and caffeine of any form. According to the Word of Wisdom, the practice of abstaining from these substances, as well as adhering to strict dietary observances, “promises both spiritual and physical blessings.” Any indulgence in the above substances is considered a sin and all members of the Church are expected to strictly follow the doctrine’s guidelines.
However, just as the Church expects its followers to emulate this high standard of behavior, it also understands that people make mistakes. If a parish member falls victim to addiction, the LDS Church provides resources to aid the way back to sobriety. The LDS Addiction Recovery Program offers members a support system that rehabilitates them back into Mormon culture and living, using the basics of the Book of Mormon and the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
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The LDS Addiction Recovery Program
The LDS Addiction Recovery Program (ARP) is a drug and alcohol addiction treatment program that features an LDS adaptation of the traditional 12-step recovery model that focuses on the Mormon understanding of Christ’s Atonement and the power of repentance. The program offers a faith-filled environment that allows time for members to figure out the root cause of their addictions and build their personal relationships with Jesus Christ.
- Weekly church meetings
- Family visitations and counseling
- Daily meditation, prayer, and scripture study
- Weekly LDS Family Services addiction recovery group meetings
- Consultations with ecclesiastical leaders
The Church considers addiction to be a battle between good and evil. Substance abuse is a war waged in a person’s mind and body, but it is also a weapon used by the devil to turn people against the word of God. Therefore, drugs and alcohol prevent a person from achieving their full, spiritual potential and allow the body to control the mind. The Church believes that the best recovery lifestyle includes detoxification from those substances, Atonement through Jesus Christ, and an all-encompassing dedication to lasting sobriety. The Church believes that with the proper Atonement through Jesus Christ and His gospel, anyone can be fully healed and recover from addiction.
ARP was a natural choice for me, because as I was getting my life back together, I wanted to include the religious values I had grown up with and that led to the program and it all fit together nicely for me. It worked. It really helped my life. And it was great to be a part of it and see how many other people were helped by it, too.
The LDS Addiction Recovery Program has facilities located throughout the United States and Canada. In places where ARP does not operate, bishops can refer members to counselors or other programs with values that are supportive of LDS principles and standards.
The 12 Steps of ARP
The 12 steps of the Addiction Recovery Program are based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous that have applied gospel principles to help individuals overcome addiction through the power of Atonement. In the program, the steps contain explanations of the principles, practical suggestions for applying those principles, and understanding questions related to each step.
Step 1: Honesty
Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addiction and that your life has become unmanageable.
Step 2: Hope
Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.
Step 3: Trust in God
Decide to turn your will and your life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Step 4: Truth
Make a searching and fearless written moral inventory of yourself.
Step 5: Confession
Admit to yourself, to your Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ, to proper priesthood authority, and to another person the exact nature of your wrongs.
Step 6: Change of Heart
Become entirely ready to have God remove all your character weaknesses.
Step 7: Humility
Humbly ask the Heavenly Father to remove your shortcomings.
Step 8: Seeking Forgiveness
Make a written list of all persons you have harmed and become willing to make restoration to them.
Step 9: Restitution and Reconciliation
Wherever possible, make direct restitution to all persons you have harmed.
Step 10: Daily Accountability
Continue to take personal inventory, and when you are wrong promptly admit it.
Step 11: Personal Revelation
Seek through prayer and meditation to know the Lord’s will and to have the power to carry it out.
Step 12: Service
Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, share this message with others and practice these principles in all you do.
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Brigham Young University Addiction Resources
One LDS population that is particularly affected by substance use and addiction is college-aged youth. When selecting a college to attend, many young Mormons select Brigham Young University (BYU) as it is founded, supported, and guided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Just as the Church offers addiction resources for members in need, so does BYU.
Brigham Young University’ Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides individualized, couples, and group counseling options free of charge for students seeking help regarding substance use. CAPS also offers stress management courses and behavioral addiction services. One of the major addictions that students are looking to the school for help recovering from is pornography addiction. Like the use of alcohol and drugs, any pornography or use of pornography is considered to be a sin by the Church. BYU is looking to expand its recovery resources to include support from ecclesiastical leaders in the coming years to help strengthen students’ relationships with Jesus Christ while undergoing treatment.
Find Mormon Drug and Alcohol Rehab Today
If you’re an individual of the Mormon faith and dealing with addiction, know that you’re not alone. There is help available that is specifically tailored to fit your family and religious needs. Contact a dedicated treatment provider to learn about your potential treatment options and get started on the path to recovery today.