The Importance of Spirituality in Recovery from Addiction

Most addicts undergo a series of personality changes, losses, and inability to find a sense of peace and happiness in their lives because the one thing they have to look forward to becomes simply their next fix, dose, or drink. We all like to think that there is a bigger and better purpose in life, but, addiction strips the addict of their motivations to remain true to their beliefs and values systems as everything becomes centered on the addiction.

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The Difference between Spirituality and Religion

Many people think that spirituality is the same as religion and while there a tendency to link the two together there is a difference that makes it easier to understand for someone who has never practiced religion, rejects it, or struggles to identify with how spirituality can exist without it.

In the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step principles to recovery, spiritual progress through reliance on God or a Higher Power for guidance, acceptance, and connecting with others less selfishly is the cornerstone to recovery. The first of these 12 steps is to recognize that one literally cannot help themselves or recover through their own willpower. Instead, the only way to progress toward recovery is a spiritual path involving surrender of self will to the Higher Power.

Just as there are many paths to addiction recovery, there are many different spiritual paths as well. For some, this means relying on a Higher Power or God to be able to accept the conditions of addiction and move forward making the appropriate changes needed to find peace and happiness. To others, it may be nature, humanity, or other values and beliefs that help them find purpose and meaning in life. Therefore, spirituality is deeply personal, unique to the individual, and privately experienced as they connect to powers, people, and life outside of themselves.

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The Importance of Spirituality in Recovery from Addiction

addiction recovery

Having faith in yourself and a Higher Power can help you find the courage and strength you need to recover from addiction.

It doesn’t matter which drug it is, alcohol, cocaine, opiates, or other stimulants and depressants, that immediate gratification and relief from the physical or psychological pain also disconnects them from their spirituality. Morality declines, abilities to change and grow become thwarted, people, places, and motives become only as important as their value is to the person’s using, and it shakes them to their core being from the consequences.

The importance of spirituality in recovery from addiction is healing. It isn’t enough to heal the physical and psychological part of the person without helping them to reconnect with their inner self promoting change, growth, and stability. According to the SAMHSA, in the phenomenological theory of psychology view linking motivations to change,” an individual’s experience of the core inner self is the most important element for personal change and growth–a process of self-actualization that prompts goal-directed behavior for enhancing this self.” Making sense of it all is being able to get in touch with one’s true and authentic self for recovery in a manner that is consistent with their deeply-held beliefs and values.