Overcoming addiction often requires a complete change of character and heart, and this starts with spirituality. For those who aren’t religious, this may be off-putting. But spirituality can exist without religion. And to fully recover, we need to reconnect to our spirituality to find a renewed purpose in life.
Is Spirituality Essential to Recovery in Alcohol and Drug Treatment Programs?
Recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol requires more than pure abstinence and time. It requires a commitment that may call for a complete change of both character and heart.This starts with spirituality and a sense of serenity. For some, this can be difficult. But don’t worry; it may not mean what you think.
Many who are beginning addiction recovery at a drug rehabilitation center don’t identify as religious, and thus they can find it challenging to accept the idea of spirituality or a higher power. But what many don’t realize or find difficult to comprehend is that spirituality can exist without the presence of religion. And to fully recover from an addiction, we need to reconnect to our spirituality and find a renewed purpose in life.
What Is the Difference Between Spirituality and Religion?
While spirituality and religion tend to be referred to in the same breath, as we’ve mentioned, they’re not necessarily the same thing. The term “religion” refers to rules or practices agreed to by a group of people, whereas “spirituality” is the ability to recognize a power greater than oneself and be grounded in both compassion and love.
Religion is clearly defined as a set of beliefs, rituals and practices directly related to a God or Gods to be worshipped. It is a system of faith and worship in the pursuit or interest of a superhuman omnipotent power.
Spirituality, on the other hand, is a more personal search for the meaning of life, for a connection to all things and/or for an experience that proves or exemplifies a power beyond oneself. Spirituality can sometimes take the form of religion but does not necessarily equal religion. It is simply the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.
How Can Addiction Disintegrate One’s Spirituality?
The impact of addiction is not only physical and emotional, but spiritual as well. And as you’ll learn in most inpatient and outpatient drug treatment programs, it affects one’s entire life. Because of this, most addicts tend to face a true spiritual crisis. But how? Well, it’s actually quite simple:
- Addiction removes free will. Addiction doesn’t allow people to choose religion or spirituality because an addict’s life is wholly focused on using. People and things become valued based on the addiction. A vital element of spirituality is deciding beliefs, exploring one’s purpose and connecting with others. An addiction removes that power of choice.
- Addiction ruins relationships. Addiction changes a person and prevents them from forming real, honest connections, destroying established relationships in the process. Addicts lose the ability to connect with anything beyond the drug or alcohol. Spirituality, at its root, is the ability to connect to more than ourselves – that is lost when addiction comes into play.
- Addiction stops growth. The life of an addict is predictable and routine, leading to the loss of both growth and change. Their entire life is based around the drug and the ability to grow and evolve goes by the wayside. Spirituality is rooted in one’s ability to change and evolve as a human being.
- Addiction takes away wonder. Awe and wonder are core aspects of spirituality. Spirituality can be found by recognizing the beauty in everyday objects and moments. This gets dulled by addiction. It takes away our inherent ability to experience these everyday wonders.
Why Is Spirituality Important for Recovery?
Despite the fact that addiction is a brain disorder, spirituality is an essential part of any outpatient or inpatient drug treatment program. In fact, spirituality and recovery tend to go hand in hand.
When a person is addicted to something, they become disconnected from spirituality, the people around them and the things outside of themselves. They can become self-centered, self-willed, angry, self-destructive and dishonest. As individuals, we are not meant to be consumed with selfishness but with deep relationships, the drive to serve others and the connection to something greater than ourselves.
This is why spirituality is a focus in both outpatient and inpatient drug rehab facilities. By regaining it, recovering addicts can once again find their purpose in life and real connections beyond themselves. This can include, but is not limited to, spiritual practices like praying, meditation and working your 12 Steps.
Understand that spirituality takes conscious effort. You’ll need to become comfortable with the uncomfortable and uncertain. You’ll need to take time to celebrate what you’re grateful for and what inspires you. Become mindful of ordinary moments and explore what makes them truly extraordinary. Be vulnerable. Create honest relationships and allow them to grow. Believe in something once again. Only then will spirituality work and help restore all the things addiction has taken away.
Let Daylight Recovery Help On Your Journey To Sobriety
At Daylight Recovery, our mission is to help you and your family overcome addiction. Our drug treatment programs are customized to address each person’s unique needs. In addition to counseling, our inpatient drug treatment facility provides a variety of spiritual support services, including mindfulness meditation, sound healing, reiki and more. If you have a question or need more information, feel free to reach out to our trained addiction experts today.