Spirituality and Addiction – Considering the Link
Spirituality and addiction become out of balance when a person is dependent on a chemical substance for his or her life force. There is a loss of spirituality, and addiction takes over. A loss of spirituality happens when an individual focuses only on the addictive substance – how and when to get it, where to use it, and how to make sure there’s enough. Little if anything else is important outside the addiction for the chemically dependent individual. Life loses purpose. Choices seem non-existent. Relationships are inconsequential. All that matters is surviving, and addiction becomes the key to that survival in the mind of a chemically dependent individual. This small focus on the addictive substance blocks what is called “the sunlight of the Spirit” on page 66 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous. When God’s light is extinguished, spirituality fades.
Long Tradition Correlates Spirituality and Addiction
In recovery circles, spirituality refers to connection with a power greater than oneself. In Christian circles, this power is God. A spiritual approach to recovery requires connection to God, in order for deep healing to take place and lives to be rebuilt on a firm and lasting foundation.
Nearly all treatment centers recognize the importance of spiritual healing as a component of recovery. Those that incorporate a 12 step program from Alcoholics Anonymous into their treatment programs draw from a long tradition that correlates addiction and spirituality, dating back to the beginnings of AA about 80 years ago. Recognizing the powerlessness that accompanies addiction, the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous stressed the importance of finding a power greater than oneself to lean on, to draw strength and hope from, and to depend on in place of drugs or alcohol.
Acknowledging a higher power and connecting with that power through prayer, meditation and service to others is emphasized in treatment programs that recognize the importance of the link between addiction and spirituality. In a treatment program that includes spiritual healing, individuals admit defeat and go on to claim victory through the power of God, who loves, forgives and heals.
We Understand the Connection between Spirituality and Addiction
At New Creation, we believe that it’s almost impossible for spirituality and addiction to co-exist, and that spiritual practices can help restore what addiction has taken away. Our clients get comfortable with the uncertain when we help them see the firm ground provided by God. We celebrate the small moments and the big victories with our clients, helping gratitude to flourish in the midst of what could be considered difficult circumstances. Clients learn the importance of relationships and begin to rebuild those that have been damaged, and create new, healthy ways of relating to others. Through our wide range of therapies and throughout all levels of care, we build a spiritual foundation that supports a life of freedom from chemical dependency.