Faith can heal young people of addiction, study says

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  • windsor City, Ut
    April 1, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    The wording about research results in the WSJ article very much mirrored my own addiction recovery.
    The researchers put into words in this article the feelings and experiences I had.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    March 31, 2014 12:24 p.m.


    I think the more telling part is that you can be healed by using action and ignoring faith, and you cannot be healed by using faith alone and not using action.

    Action alone can heal

    Faith alone can not heal.

    Which one is more important, and which is more powerful?

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    March 29, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    jeanie wrote:

    "If religion fails it is because it is not fully understood, not because it is inherently flawed."

    I have witnessed the opposite. More importantly, your claim is impossible to support.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    March 29, 2014 12:18 p.m.

    I also agree that a supernatural power does not magically fill an addict's life when they turn to religion, rather it is a natural power they feel as they discover they are a loved child of a real and living god, or that there is something bigger than them they can rely on. If religion fails it is because it is not fully understood, not because it is inherently flawed. Often people get caught up in condemning themselves and others using their own version of God's measuring stick and do not fully understand the nature of God's grace, patience and love.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    March 29, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    I recently read some studies on LDS which show that active Church going does help with many societal ills: i.e. church attendance reduces addictions and suicide, etc. and increases happiness, giving, etc.
    I know that, for me, faith in Christ cured me of my addictions. God didn't force me to change though, He never will. It takes that faith that motivates to works.
    I was more of an agnostic than anything and studied different philosophies, then attended several different Churches, had long discussions with Pastors etc. It wasn't until I read the Book of Mormon and was Spiritually born of God (as Alma might say), that my life was completely changed for the better. And then I was able to overcome addictions, just as many people do when truly "converted."

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    March 29, 2014 11:15 a.m.

    Every week in Church meetings I hear members express "testimonies" to the effect that they "couldn't live without the Church", and other extremely dependent (addicted) expressions.

    There is no doubt religion is a substitute addiction, rather than a healing influence, for a great many members.

  • slcdenizen t-ville, UT
    March 29, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    Addiction is the often an outcome of seeking transcendence and escapism in destructive, short-term relief seeking behaviors. It's also occasionally a result of the breakdown of the common person's sense of community and belongingness. When addicts turn to religion or AA, there's no supernatural power that magically fills their lives, it's the meaning and purpose they had been seeking all along, provided by the ability to share experiences and build relationships with new people. It is misleading and incomplete to link the proclivity of joining cults and overcoming addiction without addressing the subject's initial intention prior to becoming addicted. If anything, the failure of religions to address adherents' underlying psychological issues should be a recurring news theme instead of celebrating a downtrodden person's willingness to verbalize their new faith approach. Utah has an exceptionally high per capita depression diagnosis, despite or perhaps because of, high religiosity. That's something that deserves plenty of attention.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    March 29, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    @ mattrick 78

    I think it's accurate to say that, for SOME people, faith and religion, are intertwined. More and more people I meet these days express a belief in a god, but eschew religion altogether.

    I also think it's accurate to say that, for some, turning to a religion to gain sobriety is simply trading one drug for another. The factors underlying the addictive behavior do not get addressed. They just manifest themselves in a different way. When this is the actual result, it cannot be called healing.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    March 29, 2014 7:11 a.m.

    Hutterite: There is no faith without religion and no religion without faith.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    March 28, 2014 9:26 p.m.

    Desire, Belief and Expectations. With out any one of these you can't do it.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    March 28, 2014 7:28 p.m.


    For most people, faith and religion are intertwined.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    March 28, 2014 7:21 p.m.


    Of course. You can't just have to faith that you will be cured, you have to engage in some sort of action.

  • cocosweet Sandy, UT
    March 28, 2014 1:20 p.m.

    This was known over 75 years ago (AA's 75th anniversary is this year). Faith is vital in this program, though it isn't necessarily faith in a God. Of all the types of treatment for addiction the one with the highest success rate is the one that is free.

    March 28, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    Jamescmeyer - Well Said!!

    In the 12-step programs, as you come to believe that a Higher Power can restore you to sanity, and begin to trust that Power, recovery begins.

    My brothers and sisters in recovery vary in detail as to their Higher Power - mine is Jesus Christ my Redeemer and I find nothing incompatible between the 12 steps and my LDS Faith. Others have different ideas, but the point is finding a "faith that works"

    And I can tell you from years of experience, the 12 steps are not only a program of action, they are a progrma of faith!!

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    March 28, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    @AL The Younger

    Saying that "religion alone isn't effective treatment for addiction" is pointless; of course it's not, and that's not what the article even says. It's like reading an article taht says reducing your intake of fats will help decrease your level of body fat, and then scoffing that the article is misleading because there's more to it than that.


    I don't understand your comment. True and genuine religion -is- faith, and those principles in which one has faith -is religion-.

    My religion is that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Atonement so that if we follow His pattern and instructions set before us, we will reach a particular state of being-one that, among other things, is free of the chains of addiction and compulsion. There's no sense in seperating council from God from sheer undirected faith and declaring the former to be without value.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 28, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    Faith maybe. Religion? No.

    March 28, 2014 10:51 a.m.

    This is incomplete and very misleading. Faith can be very helpful in overcoming addictions. In almost all cases, however, faith alone is not enough.

  • AL The Younger Gilbert, AZ
    March 28, 2014 10:28 a.m.

    God can cure addiction. Its a beautiful thing to put your faith in something other than yourself and trust in God. Its a life changing experience.