Do I Have To Believe in God to Go To Rehab?

Almost two-thirds of United States citizens report that they believe in God. Because of these often deep beliefs, it is not uncommon for people with substance abuse issues to seek out rehabilitation programs that align with these beliefs. Many times a person will specifically say, “I’m looking for a Christian program,” or “I want to surrender my will to God.” Because of this demand, most alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs are based around religion.

But religious-based programs will teach people to not only rely on God for major needs but more basic wants. A common situation that occurs when people look to God for a miracle is that instead of attempting to make choices for themselves, they continue to make poor choices all the while waiting for divine deliverance. When these types of people feel no different or their need for certain substance doesn’t subside, two things usually happen. First, they assume automatically that the program doesn’t really work and has failed them. Second, they believe they must be such a horrible person that God does not wish to answer their prayers. This results in people just sitting around and waiting for something to happen. While they’re waiting they continue to make the same poor choices they did before, resulting in a cycle of misery.

Whether a person believes in God or not, the truth is they were born with free will. People make choices and decisions for themselves every single day that bear consequences. From the smallest choice to the most major decision, people have quite a bit of control over the outcomes. And most people accept these outcomes, as long as they had a say in the decision. If the outcome is negative, then most people will learn from the choice and make a different one next time. These are the learning experiences that help a person mature and become accountable for their actions.

If a person has decided to practice a religion, then that is their own personal choice. But when they then “put their addiction in God’s hands,” they take away their own responsibility. This allows the person to continue to make bad choices, all the while holding God accountable for their own actions.

Honestly, we all decide our own paths in life. We make choices. And those choices come with their own set of consequences. Whether those consequences are positive or negative are for us to decide. We have the ability to choose a productive outcome over a chaotic outcome. To some people, that is a God-given right. To others, the truth is what they believe it to be. But the fact remains what we all possess the capacity to think about our past choices and decide on our future ones. We have an inherent ability to decide whether to continue to abuse a substance will yield a positive or a negative outcome. To deny that ability, and expect a higher being to make our choices in life for us, only sets ourselves up for more misery and failure.

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