The alcoholic, according to AA's basic text (Big Book, page 25), has but two choices, to “… go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation …; the other, to accept spiritual help.” So, the solution for the alcoholic and the addict (“…we were in the grip of a hopeless dilemma, the solution of which is spiritual in nature (NA Basic Text, 5th ed., page xi)) is a spiritual one.
According to many research studies, a belief in a higher power or God provides protection from development of a drug or alcohol problem. I will just refer here to one recent study summarized inScienceDailyfor October 03, 2013, published in theJournal of Substance Use & Misuse. The researchers looked at responses from over 5,000 young men in Switzerland who were Religious (believed in God), Spiritual (believed in a higher power), Unsure about their belief in God, Agnostics (assume no one can know whether there is a God), and Atheists (do not believe in God). Here is a summary of the results:
Among the 543 religious young men, 30% smoked cigarettes daily, 20% smoked pot more than once a week and less than 1% had consumed ecstasy or cocaine in the past year. Among the 1650 atheists, 51% smoked cigarettes, 36% smoked pot more than once a week, 6% had consumed ecstasy and 5% cocaine in the past year. The three groups that lay between these extremes were in the mid-range both regarding their religious beliefs and the consumption of addictive substances.”
This study suggests that belief in God or a Higher Power is a protective factor in regard to development of a drug or alcohol problem, and, of course, can be a way out for those who have developed a drug or alcohol addiction.
As always, comments are invited. www.alcoholdrugsos.com, Jan Edward Williams, 10/09/2013.