If you’re struggling with drug or alcohol addiction or with any rehab or recovery from that addiction, the last thing you might want is someone preaching to you about “God”. Still, your sense of spirituality and some belief in some higher power, whether that higher power is “God” or something else, can go a long way toward a more successful recovery. One step in a typical twelve-step recovery program is generally an admission that the intercession of a higher power is needed to overcome an addiction. If you’re an atheist or you prefer not to work with the concept of a “higher power” in your recovery program, you might wonder how those programs can help you to overcome your addictions.
You should first understand that your counselors and doctors are not asking you to convert or adhere to any organized religion. They are instead addressing your concept of your free will and asking you to acknowledge that your own free will has been co-opted by your substance addiction. Incorporating the notion of a belief in a higher power into your addiction recovery program is nothing more than a tool that allows you to once again exercise your own free will to reject your craving for the substance that took hold of you.
Your concept of a higher power may very well reflect traditional notions of a God and creator. It might also be an image of an ideal being or an external power that you can lean on to defeat your addiction. Your own religious upbringing, or the absence of any spiritual moorings in that upbringing, may color your impressions and cause hesitation when you enter a typical twelve-step program. You can overcome that hesitation by disassociating the concept of a “higher power” with a person or an entity and thinking instead of the power of nature or some other majestic atmosphere or environment. The “higher power” teachings in addiction recovery can foster a sense of beauty and wonder that turns your attention away from drugs and alcohol.
Objective research on the effects of spirituality on addiction recovery is limited, but some finding do suggest that people who do follow some religious tradition and practice are less likely to succumb to drug or alcohol addiction. This may be due to the social and support structures that organized religions can provide. Twelve step recovery programs will also provide those support structures, and participants in those programs at some time will all acknowledge their decisions to rely on a higher power for assistance in their recoveries.
The “higher power” concept may be perceived as a dilemma in recovery programs when the perceptions of that higher power are mixed with broader religious or spiritual themes. If you are committed to recovering from your addiction but you are not a religious person, you shouldn’t let your recovery be affected by this concept.
The staff at Hired Power can help you sort through this dilemma and can guide you into a recovery program that best fits your needs and comfort level. Please contact us at 800-910-9299 for more information.
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