Spirituality in Recovery: The Benefits to Addiction Recovery


Personal therapy, support groups, family therapy, medical treatment and ongoing psychiatric care when medications are needed – these are just a few of the therapeutic interventions commonly incorporated into an aftercare treatment program. Spiritual activities are often a component of these therapies, if the patient chooses to explore that avenue of discovery during treatment.

According to a new study published in the journal Alcohol Treatment Quarterly, the inclusion of spiritual activities in recovery increases the ability of the patient to avoid relapse. Defining one’s life by the tenets and structure of religious instruction, enjoying the support of others in a congregation, and incorporating the spiritual belief that use of drugs and alcohol is spiritually detrimental may all be part of why spiritual focus can amplify success in recovery.

Should Spirituality Play a Role in Your Loved One’s Recovery?

Some families push their addicted loved one to take part in a rehab program that is based on the family’s religious beliefs even if they are not necessarily the current beliefs of the addicted person. Though this can work in some situations and provide a familiar context to a treatment program that may otherwise be intimidating, it may also serve to push the addicted person further away from recovery if they are disinterested in a return to the family’s religion.

If you are in the position of needing to stage an intervention to convince your loved one that treatment is necessary, it may be best to put the spiritual discussion on hold. The primary goal is to help your loved one connect with medical and psychological care provided by professionals. Spiritual activities, ultimately, are a personal discovery; if it has the potential to become an obstacle to treatment, it’s best to drop the discussion until your family member has a firm foundation in recovery.

The Freedom to Explore

Creating a new life in recovery after a time spent in active addiction is a long process. Self-discovery and self-acceptance play big roles, and patients are encouraged to explore a number of different therapeutic treatments, including those that investigate spiritual aspects of life, on their own. Often, alternative treatments like yoga and meditation or activities like volunteering can lead those in recovery to experience different ways of viewing the world and their place in it and become the first step in a spiritual exploration.

Learn more about the different types of therapy that can be useful to your addicted loved one through a comprehensive, evidence-based treatment program when you contact us at Axis today.