Rehabilitation for drug addiction primarily focuses on four main areas, which include: physical health, mental health, social support and often spirituality. Although the spiritual aspect of recovery doesn’t necessarily involve a certain religion per se, some pastors and churches do offer counseling and support for substance and alcohol abuse. Support groups and related literature often encourage individuals to tap into a power beyond his or herself.
Spirituality in Recovery Support Groups
Some well-known support groups for substance and alcohol abuse rely somewhat on spirituality as a part of their recovery process, commonly known as the 12-step program. Just like in any recovery program, the first step in regaining a healthy life is to admit that you have a problem.
The first step is sometimes seen as somewhat controversial in that it asks individuals to acknowledge they have no real power over their drug addiction. Then, followed by steps two and three, people are encouraged to turn to a higher power (God) for guidance and reassurance. This concept of the 12-step process confuses some people based on a few reasons, one being the desire and need to feel a sense of having their own power over their steps to recovery.
The bottom line is to admit that life has gotten out of control by the drug addiction and the term “higher power” is simply a personal interpretation of “God”, “higher power”, “universe”, “source energy”, or whatever feels most comfortable in referring to it. In any event, it may mean drawing power from the subconscious mind for help and guidance.
Other aspects of spirituality in the 12-step recovery process include evaluating your morals, identifying and addressing character flaws, asking others for forgiveness, incorporating prayer and meditating for knowledge and strength.
Actions vs. Beliefs
While strong faith and spiritual beliefs often help people overcome drug addiction, actions motivated by spirituality are also helpful for a full recovery. One of these important actions is offering service to other people. Helping other people in any manner, no matter what it involves, can greatly help increase someone’s self-esteem and level of confidence. Even if it’s only temporarily, helping others takes your mind off of your own problems and struggles.
Why Forgiveness is So Important
One other very important aspect of recovery revolves around forgiveness. It’s imperative that people in recovery ask the people they inevitably hurt to forgive them, in order to mend the relationship and move forward. Even more importantly is the process of forgiving yourself. If you can’t forgive yourself for your wrongdoings, whether they stem from addiction or not, will make the road back to a clean and healthy life more difficult and prolonged than it has to be. Forgive and love others, as well as yourself.
How Spirituality Helps Recovering Addicts Stay Clean
The concept of employing spiritual practices to help recovering addicts stay clean isn’t new. In fact, this is the underlying principle behind the 12-step recovery process. Spiritual-based tools are recommended for anyone to use regardless of their religious background, opinions from family members or what anyone else thinks. In other words, you have to do what works for you to get over the drug addiction, not what works for someone else. Does practicing a certain aspect of spirituality such as prayer or meditation make you feel better about yourself and your circumstances? If the answer is yes, then you’re on the right road – keep going!
It’s not necessary to actually be a member of a certain religion or faith to have a relationship with God or your higher power. For most people, whether they have a drug addiction problem or not, once they’ve tapped into the incredible splendor of infinite power and love. That in itself becomes their addiction since there’s nothing else on the planet that comes close to that incomprehensible feeling of vast and wondrous love.
Open your mind to spirituality to help with your drug addiction recovery. It might just be the missing step you need in order to reach your destination.