Spiritual Road to Recovery
Written by Lydia D’Ross, Ordained Minister and Outreach Chaplin for RENEWAL at Brookhaven Hospital
According to research by Project MATCH, a program of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism “spiritually focused addiction treatment programs have resulted in up to 10 percent greater abstinence rates than other forms of treatment.”
Spirituality reflects a belief applied to your life that has meaning to you and has a purpose. It includes the many different beliefs people have about that meaning and purpose. For some people, spirituality includes beliefs that there is something bigger than our individual existence. Spirituality means many different things to people. Some may call spirituality a higher power, the universe and other beliefs systems that people hold on to for a sense of hope and balance.
For other people that do not have a belief system in a higher power or religion attached to that belief, meaning and purpose can be derived through a personal set of values and goals. Therefore, it might be possible to understand addiction as a way of coping with a previous loss of our true authentic self. This kind of loss might occur from trauma such as abuse of substances. These kinds of life situations often shatter our belief in a meaning and purpose for our life. We might then cling to whatever we can to have some control over our lives, or temporarily suspend life through the cycle of addictions.
Spirituality and religion are very different towards the road to recovery. Religion is rules or practices agreed to by a council group of people, whereas spirituality is completely related to one’s personal experience and connections.
To fully recover from our addiction we must renew the way we used to see life and return to that place where we once connected to our spirituality that gave us meaning for our life’s purpose. All addictions have a fairly predictable dismal outcome if left untreated.
Many recent change models incorporate spirituality with psychological, physical, and social variables in order to provide comprehensive treatment. We must also understand the importance of spirituality in addiction recovery and guide each client to discover and experience their own spirituality.
By adding God or a higher power back into the individual’s life, that gap will be filled, and the urge toward addictive behavior will be reduced. There is hope for a healthier and happier life! If you, or a loved one is struggling with the disease of addiction, call us, 888.298.HOPE (4673).