Millati Islami is a fellowship of men and women, joined together on the “Path of Peace”. We share our experiences, strengths, and hopes while recovering from our active addiction to mind and mood altering substances.
We have sought to integrate the treatment requirements of both Al-Islam and the Twelve Step approach to recovery into a simultaneous program. Our personal thanks and appreciation goes to the Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous programs from which we borrowed. Just as Narcotics Anonymous was founded out of its need to be non-specific with regard to substance, so Millati Islami was born out of our need to be religiously specific with regard to spiritual principles.
Millati Islami, by G-d’s will, (masha-Allah) offers a fresh perspective on age old ideas for treating our fallen human conditions. We pray further that it will serve as a model for successfully understanding and addressing the special problems encountered as recovering Muslims and substance abusers in a predominately non-Muslim society.
(The “Tribes of the recovering community” series is intended to demonstrate the diversity within the recovering community.I have no first hand knowledge of most of the tribes, so inclusion in this series should not be considered an endorsement.)
Lee Ann Kaskutas, a scientist with the Alcohol Research Group, has faced skepticism from colleagues for studying A.A., in part because of the numerous spiritual references that go with the 12-step program. It puts A.A. on “the fringe” in the minds of many scientists, Kaskutas said.
Kaskutas, a self-proclaimed atheist, said that the 12 steps bear fruit regardless of one’s spiritual beliefs. “If you don’t believe in God, the way it weasels in is in the help and behaviors that the 12-step group inculcates.”
Helping others, Kaskutas said, “is the internal combustion engine of A.A. I think that is the connection to spirituality.”
People feel better about themselves after helping someone else, Kaskutas said. “So it’s reinforcing—when you help somebody, I think your brain chemistry changes.”
An interesting interview with DFW’s biographer about his recovery. Check it out.
On the influence of 12 step recovery on his life and writing:
I think over time its core message—the need for human interaction, being modest about your self and your powers, humility before your situation—become his core literary positions as well. In the program DFW turned his back on what he saw as his callow, show-offy youth.
Another study brings good news about adolescents and 12 step recovery:
The proportion attending 12-step meetings was relatively low across follow-up (24 to 29%), but more frequent attendance was independently associated with greater abstinence in concurrent and, to a lesser extent, lagged models. An 8-item composite measure of 12-step involvement did not enhance outcomes over and above attendance, but separate components did; specifically, greater contact with a 12-step sponsor outside of meetings and more verbal participation during meetings.
The benefits of 12-step participation observed among adult samples extend to adolescent outpatients. Community 12-step fellowships appear to provide a useful sobriety-supportive social context for youths seeking recovery, but evidence-based youth-specific 12-step facilitation strategies are needed to enhance outpatient attendance rates.