Addiction affects everyone, regardless of religion or race. However, those in the Jewish faith often feel a certain stigmatism in admitting they have an addiction. Many Jewish communities do not accept that this is an epidemic that affects Jews, and so it can be hard to find a suitable drug rehab and enter into the recovery process. The good news is that things are changing in some Jewish communities, and there are even treatment centers available that cater specifically to Jews.
Addiction in Jewish Communities
As referenced above, it’s not uncommon for Jewish communities to believe that Jews are unaffected by addiction. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The reason for this belief is possible because the Jewish religion teaches that the “body belongs to God and so should not be purposely harmed”. This has many families trapped in a cycle of denial. Although accurate figures are not available, it is believed that around 20% of Jewish families have a history of addiction.
It was recently reported that in a small orthodox community of jews, there were nearly 70 drug-related deaths or suicides and dozens more from “unnatural” causes. Tie that in with the current opioid crisis that is currently plaguing the US, and we see a markedly large increase in drug awareness education and treatment options. A recent survey of the Jewish community discovered that a whopping 41.2 % are aware of friends and family struggling with addiction which makes this vital.
Dan Manson, Founder of Elevate Addiction Services believes that it is vital that all families are aware of the signs of addiction. Once an addict has admitted to having a problem, it is then possible for them to seek treatment at a rehab facility.
The basic definition of a Jewish rehab facility is ‘a facility that has been set up to treat members of the Jewish faith’. Most Jewish rehab facilities focus on the 12-steps program, the program most commonly associated with Alcoholics Anonymous. This program focuses on the belief that you can overcome your addiction with help from a higher power, but you can’t treat it on your own.
Involved in the 12-step process is admitting you have a problem, asking for forgiveness from God, making amends to friends and family members who have been harmed by your addiction, and receiving a spiritual awakening. The process is all about accepting your flaws and improving your relationship with God.
More Traditional Options
For those members of the Jewish faith who aren’t too keen on entering into a Jewish rehab facility and completing the 12-step program, there are other options available. Some Jews find they react better to a combination of in-patient treatment and cognitive therapy, while others prefer to tackle the detoxification process head-on.
Despite the myths that are prevalent in some Jewish communities, Jews are prone to substance abuse just like those in any other faith. The challenge they face in overcoming these issues, however, may be harder due to their beliefs. With recovery support and rehab facilities available, though, all hope is not lost. With your community’s support and God to guide you, there is no reason why you will not be able to fully recover.