Contributor: Sara Newhard, LMFT, LCPC Therapist, Timberline Knolls
The process of recovering from an addiction is a transformative journey, one that touches and challenges an individual on multiple levels: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Most addiction specialists would agree that substance abuse is something that results from a combination of complex factors and cannot be solely blamed on one thing. This translates into the need for comprehensive treatment in recovery that can adequately address the intricacies involved with addiction behaviors.
Understanding the Spiritual Nature of Addiction
While it is easy to focus on the physical and emotional aspects of substance abuse and addiction, it is important to understand the spiritual nature of human beings and the crucial aspect of practicing spirituality in addiction recovery. When it comes to spirituality, many individuals may be unsure of what this involves, and this often goes beyond the scope of religion in itself.
Spirituality can be characterized as a belief in something greater than oneself and the recognition of a higher power that gives perspective and purpose to life. For most people, this involves the belief in and connection to God.
Many people may find a connection to God through the practice of religion, but for those who are struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, there is often a severe lack of spirituality.
Substance abuse and addiction alters perspective and reality quite dramatically, in that an addict’s focus in life becomes achieving the next “high” and finding ways to obtain their drug of choice. In this mentality, any sense of spirituality tends to become lost, as addiction keeps a person choosing anything but the object of their addiction.
Getting Back to Basics
For many individuals who might be struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it may be said that the addiction arose from a spiritual void. Reestablishing a sense of spirituality in one’s life through addiction recovery begins with comprehensive treatment.
In the throes of an active addiction, change is even more difficult to implement. However, it is important to know that practicing spirituality is something that can begin at any point of the recovery journey.
Reconnecting with God as part of growing in the spiritual aspect of one’s life is also an important key toward implementing change and healing. Many recovering addicts may feel overwhelmed regarding what their lives have become or suffered as a result of the addiction or feel disgraced by the way they have hurt themselves and others.
Finding God in recovery can be instrumental in developing a more peaceful, forgiving, and compassionate relationship with oneself and with loved ones, effectively repairing the hurt and damage that may exist.
If you have found yourself at a point in your own recovery from addiction in which you are struggling with reconciling your past with your future, are having a difficult time forgiving yourself, or feel as though you have lost a sense of purpose, consider the aspect of spirituality in your own life.
How would developing a relationship with God help you, not just in your recovery from addiction, but also in life overall? Consider connecting with a spiritual mentor, such as a pastor, minister, chaplain or finding fellowship with other like-minded individuals to be encouraged in your own walk with God.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
How has an relationship with God impacted your recovery from addiction?
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on October 10, 2016
Published on AddictionHope.com