If you’re a Muslim, you will know that drugs and alcohol are Haram (forbidden) and this can lead to a huge sense of stigma and shame surrounding addiction.
If you’re struggling with dependency or addiction issues, or know someone who is, we know how difficult it can be to admit to the problem, let alone seek any help for it.
It’s difficult for the average person to accept their condition, let alone someone bound by faith, pride and their community.
“The intense stigma that many Muslims associate with substance abuse can stop people seeking life-saving treatment.”
In Islam, life is considered to be the most sacred blessing of God. Every breathing moment of your life has great value and is irreversible.
This means that your life needs to be appreciated and protected, even if you view it as having a poor quality.
At Castle Craig that we work with our patients in one-to-one therapy to tackle other co-occurring issues such as trauma, depression and anxiety that take away your power and hope and prevent recovery.
Millati Islami – a 12-Step program designed for Muslims as an interpretation of AA’s 12 steps. This is very similar to the 12 Steps but more closely based on the beliefs and principles of Islam. At Castle Craig we follow the 12 Steps which can be used by those who are religious and those who are not. You can read more about our alcohol rehab programme here.
Call 01721 722 763 for help and advice on recovery.
In this article, to understand and respect your faith, we have reviewed many fatwas provided by Muslim scholars to gauge their trusted-responses, as well as internet user-contributed questions about how to correct behaviour in situations that involve alcohol and addiction.
Despite the widespread condemnation of alcohol consumption in Islam, many Muslims face ethical dilemmas daily that result in avoiding seeking advice on topics related to alcohol, the family and work.
Initially, there may be no questions about correcting behaviour relating to Muslims drinking alcohol, because it is forbidden. However, this does not account for the individual’s mental struggles that faith alone may not be enough to save.
The tough truth
- 32% of young British Muslims have suffered from suicidal thoughts
- 52% have suffered from depression
- 63% struggle with anxiety
These statistics are provided by a survey conducted by a UK Charity, Muslim Youth Helpline. Their report found evidence to suggest that the rates of depression have been higher within the British Muslim community than amongst the general population and that Muslims are less likely to seek treatment.
Islam and depression
Depression is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders, affecting 1 in 4 people in England each year . More than just a mood fluctuation or short-lived emotional responses to everyday life, depression is much more intense and is a serious health condition.
Whilst Islam does play an important role in helping Muslims cope with negative life events, it is important to remember that addiction to alcohol and drugs is incredibly powerful. Our patients often talk about their ‘powerlessness’ over their addiction. Here we help people to find the resilience and strength they need to enter into recovery and begin to live a free and meaningful life.
Islam will help you to remain hopeful, and even if the worst sin has been committed there is always God’s mercy.
“And never give up hope of Allah’s soothing Mercy: truly no one despairs of Allah’s soothing Mercy, except those who have no faith.” (Quran, 12:87)
We take the shame out of addiction
Overcoming alcohol addiction is very seldom done alone. In the case of psychological addiction, much more work is needed to ensure the individual can cope with the triggers that push and lead them to drink in the first place.
Here at Castle Craig, we have multiple therapies that have been studied and proven successful amongst Muslim groups facing substance abuse issues. See studies.
During a 28-day residential rehab stay, our therapists and doctors combine these alcohol treatments with daily individual and group therapy.
We are also aware that group therapy situations might be problematic for many Muslims, as it may conflict with your Islamic values, for example, sharing personal details in front of the opposite gender.
However, we are one of the very few rehabs that offer men-only and women-only groups as well as mixed groups. Find the right support group for you.
More than this, our psychiatrists educate themselves on Islamic values and the nature of Islamic family patterns so that we can deliver and sensitively educate the family on necessary treatment steps and what can be done to repair the family unit.
Islam-informed rehab at Castle Craig
Castle Craig is culturally sensitive and provides treatment for people of all faiths. We are an Islam-informed rehab clinic which means that we understand the unique family and community dynamics and cultural practices of our Muslim patients. We employ a specialist addictions therapist who is experienced in treating MENA clients, is a practising Muslim within the Edinburgh Muslim community, and speaks Arabic.
We are able to source Halal food for Muslim patients upon request and patients are invited to bring their own prayer mats when they join.
Is addiction a result of sin?
Some in your community may tell you that you are ‘sinful’ and you must pray for help. But addiction is not a moral failing and it can not go away with prayer alone. It is not possible to simply decide not to use again because your freedom and choice are taken away by the substance. With addiction, your brain is altered to need the substance, it is a disease that requires treatment.
How we support you
Professional, therapeutic support is required to help you work through the shame you will be experiencing. Family therapy will be particularly beneficial so that your husband, wife or parents can talk with you alongside a therapist. Our family workshop will help to educate your family members about addiction and answer all their questions.
It’s going to take enormous effort to fight it and keep battling to stay sober daily.
You need to take the first steps needed to overcome your addiction.
Speak to us – we understand. Call 0808 231 4779.