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Many people think of addiction treatments as being based solely on science. In years gone by this was true, to a great extent. The most obvious reason for this is that the effects of this type of treatment can be measured; it can be seen how effective they are. However, more recently there has been a move towards the acceptance of more diverse treatment options.

One of these options is the inclusion of spirituality which is embraced by many professionals, such as, that believe in treating mind, body,and soul. Spirituality is such a broad concept that it can be difficult measure exactly how useful it is, but if you think carefully about what addiction involves you can start to see why many people feel that including spirituality is so important.

What is spirituality?

It helps to understand what spirituality is. Many people think that it’s the same thing as religion, but that is not the case. Spirituality involves seeing a bigger picture; knowing that there is more than just the individual. For some people, this may be following a religion but for others, it may simply be feeling connected with other human beings on the planet; having a feeling that there is a shared human experience. Some people feel connected to nature, or to a certain belief structure. Spirituality has a different meaning depending on the individual but it generally brings with it a greater sense of purpose and belonging.

How does spirituality link with addiction treatment?

If you consider the issues that can lead to addiction, or be caused by addiction, you can start to see why so many professionals now see spirituality as an important aspect of treatment. People often start to take drugs or drink alcohol because they have no real purpose in life. Other people start to see their purpose disappearing as they become addicted.

Using prescription drugs or counseling to help deal with withdrawal symptoms and mental issues, is an important part of recovery. However, if the lack of meaning and purpose is not addressed it is hard for any addict to lead a fulfilling life and stay on the path that they want to take. This is where spirituality comes in; it engenders a sense of purpose and belonging like nothing else really can.

Professionals tend to use holistic therapies such as yoga, acupuncture,and meditation to help individuals to develop a better understanding of themselves and the world around them. This helps them to feel involved and to feel connected with others and with the natural world. For some this may mean that they develop a new relationship with their god, for others it may mean that they feel a loving connection with the people around them. Whatever the experience is, it helps to recover addicts to move away from feeling alone and isolated into a feeling of belonging.

This is why spirituality plays an increasingly important role in addiction recovery programmes. It provides the treatment of the soul that science is not able to.