Spirituality in Addiction and Substance Abuse Recovery

Spirituality in Addiction and Substance Abuse Recovery

Spirituality in Addiction

 

We often hear that connecting to some form of spirituality is imperative in addiction and substance abuse recovery.

But what does that even mean and why is it so important?

 

People often mix up spirituality and religion, however, both of these terms differ in meaning. Spirituality is not the same thing as religion. Religion is a belief in a super controlling power like God and is derived from a specific system of faith and worship. Spirituality is different and is instead described as the quality of being connected to  something intangible like the human spirit or soul.

 

When someone is addicted to drugs and alcohol, that individual loses real connection and instead their drug or substance of choice becomes their only form of connection. Regaining or developing a sense of spirituality during recovery can help someone feel connected again to themselves and life. Feeling connected to something beyond oneself can provide a sense of purpose and self worth while providing support. But what does this even mean and how do you find spirituality?

 

Spirituality is not a one size fits all concept and can mean various things to different people. Some people find spirituality through other spiritual leaders and ideas like Buddhism. Others practice mindfulness to stay present and connected to the moment or work the steps in the 12 step program.

 

The concept of spirituality is often times a source of frustration, especially for those in addiction recovery. Often times, individuals in recovery expect a spiritual awakening when in reality it is a more gradual process.

 

Addiction leads to disconnection which is the sheer opposite of spirituality. In essence, spirituality is connection. This means serving others, developing and fostering deep relationships with others and healing the mind, body and soul. Spirituality means that individuals let love guide them, not their addiction.

 

So what does spirituality in addiction look like for you?  

 

It is important that individuals in recovery figure out what spirituality looks like for themselves. This could mean that you spend lots of time reading and learning about various religions and spiritual figures for guidance. Perhaps you already have a connection to a religion in which it was impaired during your addiction. Whether it is reconnecting or discovering spirituality for the first time, it is important that individuals take the time and effort to define their own spiritual connection.  At The Last House we have a program that encourages a spiritual solution to addiction.

 

Janna Price

My name is Janna Price and I am an MSW student at UCLA with a concentration in mental health. While in school I am also interning as a Children’s Mental Health Therapist in South Central L.A. Upon pursuing my Master’s in Social Welfare, I’ve spent the last ten years working in various child development centers as an administrator and an educator. Throughout my career I have worked with many children of all developmental stages and mental illnesses.