Lighthouse Network’s Dr. Karl Benzio Says Coupling Faith with Treatment Gives the Patient a Greater Chance for Healing
Philadelphia—It sounds like the perfect math problem. Take a drug and alcohol addiction treatment program and add faith-based principles and values, which will hopefully equal healing and restoration. But does the equation really add up? Can Christianity and treatment work together?
Do science, medicine, faith and biblical teachings really mesh?
Absolutely, answers psychiatrist Karl Benzio, M.D., founder and executive director of Lighthouse Network (www.lighthousenetwork.org), a Christian addiction and mental health counseling helpline. In fact, he adds, patients have a much better chance of beating addiction when faith plays a role in the treatment.
“We can clearly see, both in research and from experience, that the Christian way of life brings to the table characteristics that can battle everything from drug addiction and eating disorders to depression and suicidal thoughts,” Benzio said. “We know without a doubt that when we couple faith-based principles with treatment, there is a greater chance that the life will be restored.”
Studies show, Benzio said, that matching a patient with a counselor of the same faith and infusing faith and spiritual principles into addiction and mental health treatment greatly improve the outcomes, and he offered these 10 reasons that Christian drug treatment really works:
- Christian treatment instills hope.
- It encourages the patient in more deeply.
- It connects us to a power greater than ourselves, which can help us overcome temptation.
- It promotes humility and honest self-assessment.
- It teaches the practical life management skills taught in the Bible.
- It helps patients connect to a community with powerful ties and support.
- It offers us forgiveness for all our mistakes.
- It helps us forgive others and let go of old wounds.
- It goes further than surface behavior, delving into the underlying core issues of addiction.
- Pain and discomfort are the driving forces behind dysfunctional relationships that can often lead to addiction, and the Bible explains how God heals pain and hurt.
Likewise, Benzio said, resiliency—necessary for successful addiction treatment—is rooted in Biblical teachings and principles. According to Dennis Charney, M.D., Dean of Research at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, some of the major characteristics of resiliency come through via Christian counseling and faith-based treatment programs, including optimism, altruism, faith, humor, a moral compass, a true meaning for life and a powerful role model in Jesus Christ.
Those with questions about treatment options for family or loved ones can call the free, 24-hour Lighthouse Network Helpline at 1-844-LIFE-CHANGE (1-844-543-3242). Lighthouse Network also provides online resources for those concerned about a family member, friend or a loved one. Visit www.lighthousenetwork.org/im-family-a-friend.
Benzio shares insights on mental health issues in the one-minute daily radio feature “Life Change with Dr. Karl,” airing on approximately 425 radio stations across the country, including 200 stations in the American Family Radio Network. “Life Change” brings scientific expertise and biblical principles together to examine some common daily struggles and help people successfully navigate life’s obstacles. For more information, visit www.lighthousenetwork.org/life-change-with-dr-karl/.
Lighthouse Network works to guide struggling people through storms to achieve peace and find answers for those who have a hard time defining their problems. Lighthouse Network also offers the free, 24-hour Lighthouse Life Change Helpline toll-free at 1-844-LIFE-CHANGE (1-844-543-3242). Several resources are available through www.lighthousenetwork.org as well as through Lighthouse Network’s free daily Stepping Stones devotionals found at www.lighthousenetwork.org/stepping-stones.
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This was an interesting article about substance abuse. It’s fascinating that combining a substance abuse counselor with a similar faith background as the patient can increase successful treatment results. Substance abuse is challenging to face alone. Many times professional support and counseling are needed to get clean.