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Posted 01/21/2022

The Role of Spirituality in Recovery

As the disease of addiction intensifies, people may drift further away from family and friends, leaving them alone in their battle against addiction.

Spirituality can be a valuable source of inner strength that enables the recovery process to begin, and sustains individuals into healthy, self-managed and fulfilling lives.

“I think part of the journey in recovery is to find a connection with something that provides great meaning and a perspective that is bigger than oneself,” said Lowell Robertson, M.D., addiction medicine and internal medicine physician at NCWR. “This can occur through many different modalities but is crucial for breaking down selfishness, isolation and pride which are often associated with various addictions.”

Although spirituality is unique to each person, studies show that those who rely on spirituality recover from addiction at a much higher rate, are more optimistic and handle stress better.

In the past, spirituality was more deeply associated with religion, but has since taken on new perspectives and definitions.

Spirituality may involve concepts such as self-awareness, what we believe about the universe, how we relate to nature, or our interpretation of a meaningful connection with the divine. Religion can be considered a set of structured practices adhered to by communities of faith and which may encourage spiritual growth.

“I encourage my patients to embrace their spiritual nature and find a spiritual outlet that works for them and their recovery,” said Lowell.

Exploring spirituality can lead to renewed purpose, greater mindfulness and accountability which support sustained recovery for a well-balanced life free from addiction.

Deanne Vick | January 2022
deanne.vick@okstate.edu