Understanding Addiction Through Gospel-Centered Healing

Recognizing and knowing how to recover from addiction can be very difficult. Our goal at Renaissance Recovery Center is to help patients understand and come to terms with their addiction through gospel principles, clinical assessment and treatment. This is our recipe for spiritual healing and long-lasting recovery.

And Jesus went about all Galilee…healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. –Matt. 4:23

What is addiction?

While there are still competing theories about where addiction comes from and how to treat it, scientists and physicians are in universal agreement that addiction consists primarily of repeated, compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite negative consequences. Drug addiction often begins with the misuse or abuse of a drug and manifests itself when the user continues to use at the expense of relationships, health, and spiritual well-being.

There are a variety of addiction models to explain such behavior. It is our belief that each of these models require a gospel perspective in order to promote love and spiritual healing.

The Disease Model of Addiction and The Gospel Perspective

Perhaps the most widely accepted addiction model today is the Disease Model, where addiction is defined as a disease of biological, genetic, and/or environmental origin. It can also be attributed to a neurotransmitter imbalance as a result of drug use. Recent studies have shown that alcoholism in particular derives from a combination of genetic influences and neurochemical deficiencies. In the disease model, the process of addiction has, like any disease, a pathogen—or agent—that produces the disease, and a host where the disease grows and takes over. In the case of addiction, the agent is the drug and the host is the drug addict.

The disease model presents many advantages when treating addiction through a Gospel perspective. Disease of any kind requires clinical treatment, and all healing requires faith in our friends, family, and a higher power to help us. The concept of healing is paramount to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as is the love of a Heavenly Father who wants spiritual and physical relief for all of his children. Viewing addiction through the disease model lens can minimize negative social stigmas associated with disease and emphasize Christ-like love that the addict needs to support his/her recovery. It can also reinforce the need for a personalized, multifaceted approach to recovery and promote continuity of physical, emotional, and spiritual rehabilitation.

Other Addiction Models and How We Can Help

One of the major criticisms of the disease model is that it takes choice out of the equation and enables addictive behavior. Though choice isn’t necessarily outside the realm of the disease model, there are other addiction models that take personal choice very much into consideration. The Psychodynamic Model, for instance, asserts that drug abuse is a form of self-medicating in the face of underlying psychological or emotional issues. Treatment for the psychodynamic model naturally requires psychological rehabilitation and resolution.

We at Renaissance Recovery Center believe that choice and agency are gifts from our Creator, but these gifts should never be a source of guilt for the addict. This can be very harmful and will often crush motivation to seek treatment. Instead, we see choice as the great catalyst in making the first steps toward rehabilitation. If you or a loved one need help, but can’t seem to find the self-worth or motivation to seek treatment, contact us for help.

In contrast to the psychodynamic model, the Social Model focuses less on internal issues and specifies drug addiction as a product of environment. Drug use is a learned behavior, and leads to dependency when one models his/her own behavior after others. One of the benefits of this model is that it emphasizes the need for social healing. The family (in all its forms) is essential to God’s plan, a manifestation of his love and crucial to the healing process. We aim to help addicts and family members heal together. Our staff is qualified and well prepared to provide Christ-like, gospel-centered solutions for you and your loved-ones. If you have general questions about the process of addiction recovery, or you are seeking a concrete, personalized recovery plan, we are happy to help in any way we can.