The Role of Spirituality in Addiction Treatment


spirituality-addiction-treatmentIn the treatment community, we often define addiction as an emotional, physical and spiritual problem. While countless studies can back the emotional and physical aspects of the disease of addiction, as well as the evidence-based therapeutic modalities that are used to treat them, spirituality is often overlooked–at least within the scientific community.

Unlike other therapeutic approaches, spirituality is not easily quantified, but many addiction treatment professionals believe it is an extremely important tool throughout the continuum of care. Of course, effective addiction treatment that delivers positive, measurable outcomes comprises evidence-based methods, but more holistic practices like spirituality should not be ignored.

What Is Spirituality?

“Spirituality” is not synonymous with religion, nor is it defined by religion. It can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. While religion is thought of as a set of beliefs or practices regarding a belief in a god or gods, spirituality is thought of as:

  • A relationship with the self or things beyond the self.
  • A feeling or belief of oneness between the self and the universe.
  • A core quality of character.
  • Being in touch with one’s inner self or soul.
  • A way of living or worldview.
  • A sense of personal well-being.

Spirituality is related to a person’s individual experience that offers perspective, meaning and purpose. It’s about growing, changing and evolving into our most authentic selves.

Recovery Requires Spiritual Awakening

While no evidence proves that the absence of spirituality can cause addiction, a lack of spiritual worldview certainly doesn’t aid in improving a person’s feelings of depression and hopelessness. Self-medication through substance use masks the pain as the person sinks deeper into despair and addiction robs them of their spirituality and sense of self.

In the treatment setting, a spiritual experience can serve as a turning point that significantly alters a person’s perspective on addiction, treatment and their life, and improves their chances of maintaining abstinence from drugs and alcohol. At BRC Recovery, we believe that a spiritual awakening is necessary to overcome addiction.

In addition to participating in evidence-based therapies that help our residents learn more about themselves, residents also engage in 12-Step meetings, practice yoga and meditation and volunteer, all while residing in a beautiful, natural setting that evokes awe and gratitude on a daily basis.

There is no substitute for the satisfaction and fulfillment we feel when we are connected to something greater than ourselves. A regular spiritual practice empowers you to find meaning and purpose in your life as you navigate recovery. To learn more about our Spiritual Coaching Program or our other services, please contact a BRC Recovery Specialist at 1-866-461-1759.