Sikh Beliefs on Drug and Alcohol Rehab
As is the case with people of all religions, some individuals of the Sikh faith struggle with addiction and are in need of drug and alcohol rehab. Luckily, there are many treatment options available, both those that are specifically dedicated to Sikhs and programs that help Sikhs along with members of other religions.
Similar to 12-step programs, Sikhism encourages people to acknowledge that they have problems. There are five sins that a Sikh should avoid: anger, pride, lust, greed, and attachment. Alcoholism and addiction to drugs represent an unhealthy attachment. In Sikhism, followers find their path to peace by avoiding sin. They can overcome sins by finding their path back to God. Programs within the Sikh communities encourage those struggling with addiction to seek assistance at Sikh temples, where they pledge abstinence to alcohol and drugs. They also believe in acts of clarity, including acts of generosity and giving freely, as well as empathy, compassion, and acts of clarity, generosity, and giving freely. Faith-based programs have demonstrated how aspects of faith and spirituality can be used as protective factors for substance abuse.
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What Is Sikhism?
The Sikh (pronounced sik or seek) religion is the fifth largest religion in the world. The religion originated in India roughly 500 years ago. Currently, there are 25 to 28 million Sikhs living primarily in its birthplace, India, while 500,000 Sikh practitioners live in the US. Sikhs believe that there is 1 God who is the same for all people and religions; God has no form, and everyone has access to God. Essentially, both men and women are equal to God and practitioners should be devoted to God at all times.
The word Sikh is Punjabi for disciple, and the religion maintains interest in social justice and truth. Sikhs follow the Ten Gurus as well as the Sikh Holy Book, Living Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Lastly, Sihks are adorned in specific attire—a dastar, or a turban which reflects self-respect, courage, and honor, among other traits.
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Sikhism and a Relationship with God
Sikhs believe meditating on God and performing good deeds are essential for their spiritual development and spiritual maintenance. Furthermore, Sikhs believe humans follow a cycle of life, death, and rebirth, similarly to several other Eastern faiths. For Sikhs, having a knowledge of God helps individuals escape negative karma they may have inherited through misconduct. The Sikh takes attention from the self and the ego, putting the focus on God, reading Holy books, enriching his or her life, and gaining God’s grace.
Sikh Beliefs: The 5 Vices and the 3 Duties
The 5 Beliefs in the Sikh religion is another element of the faith that encourages living a lifestyle without ego-gratifying experiences. Following the way of the 5 Vices helps individuals make positive long-term choices that can end up causing physical, emotional, or spiritual damage in the long run. The 5 vices are activities or states of being Sikhs avoid so he or she can remain grounded. They include overcoming:
- Covetousness and greed
- Ego or excessive pride
These are considered sins of the ego that can interfere with worship. There are an additional set of principles Sikhs follow that enhance their spiritual connection—the 3 duties, which are as follows:
- Nam Japna (Prayer and Godly devotion)
- Kirt Karna (Living honestly and maintaining integrity. Avoiding gambling, begging, or alcohol and drugs)
- Vand Chakna (Sharing with others)
Sikhs also follow 4 commandments, which prohibit dishonoring the creator’s intention by cutting the hair, bodily harm through tobacco use, eating sacrificial meat, and and committing adultery.
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Sikh Beliefs on Substance Abuse
Kirt Karna allows Sikhs to maintain self-control as he or she avoids toxic environments that can breed substance abuse. As a result, drug use has become a taboo in the Sikh community. Because of traditional beliefs that prohibit ego-gratifying behaviors, individuals battling trauma manifesting as substance abuse have little room to discuss the problems. Additionally, members of the Sikh community may not be understanding or knowledgeable on how to understand substance abuse outside of a spiritual context. Sikh individuals with drug or alcohol problems often feel isolated in their communities, which can worsen substance abuse problems and cause them to avoid seeking drug or alcohol rehab. Due to these factors, the Sikh community tends to have a negative viewpoint on substance abuse. Fear of loss of status has prevented many from seeking treatment despite their need for professional help.
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Sikh Drug and Alcohol Rehab
Sikh principles can overlap with some of the 12 Steps commonly used in treatment centers and support groups to assist with spiritual growth. Sikhs already have a connection with a higher power, and acknowledgment of the impact substance abuse has on the body and their communities. Reconnecting and becoming devoted to God can put someone in the mental state of peace and union with God.
Some who have experienced substance abuse may have gone through dark times where they need the support of their community to reconnect with God. Others need treatment and medications that will help with symptoms of drug withdrawal and place them in groups who understand what substance abuse is like or connect them to Sikh faith-based groups.
Find Your Best Sikh Drug and Alcohol Rehab Option Today
Treatment centers have included holistic and faith-based healing practices in their programs to include a wider range of therapies. Contact a dedicated treatment provider to discover which facilities are best for Sikh practitioners, and which faith-based 12-Step programs may be available. If you or a loved one needs freedom from harmful chemicals, take charge of your well and contact a treatment provider today.