Substance Abuse and Spirituality

bible and sobrietyIt is a fact that many of the most successful addiction treatment programs are based in spirituality; spiritual guidance, spiritual counseling and spiritual philosophies. There are a number of different religious addiction treatment centers, particularly Christian, that bring their own spiritual insight into addiction treatment. The reason for this is it is a commonly agreed upon theory that a root cause for addiction is broken spirituality.

To fully understand this reasoning, we must first understand what spirituality is. It is not the same thing as religion, despite popular misconceptions. Spirituality is an awareness of and a care for one’s soul. A person’s soul is complex and requires a balance of self-care and altruism to feel whole. The old adage “You must love yourself before you can love someone else” is very applicable to the human soul. A person must be healthy and careful enough to meet their own intrinsic needs before they can meet the needs of someone else and form healthy relationships.

The problem with addiction is that it destroys the state of one’s soul. An addicted person is not a spiritually healthy person. Addiction indicates an inability to cope with life and a preference toward escapism due to emotional, psychological, environmental and biological problems. A spiritually healthy person, on the other hand, practices positive, sound thinking and is able to confront challenges and obstacles with a clear mind, or leave situations that are toxic.

Spiritual addiction treatment is beneficial to recovering addicts because spiritual thought naturally addresses the problems that are thought to spawn addiction. Spirituality encourages us to find strength and acceptance of our unique identities through an infallible higher power who does not judge or lose patience with us, as people do. Christian addiction treatment in particular derives its strength for recovery from God’s perfect love that does not fail, but endlessly encourages us to our full potential.