The Impact of Faith and Spirituality in Recovery
For many people, finding faith in a higher power, exploring religious teachings, or developing some sort of spiritual practice becomes a fundamental part of their recovery. Some people begin learning about Christianity or other religions for the first time during treatment, while others may reconnect with past values and beliefs.
Faith-based support programs both inside and outside of treatment continue to thrive, as do non-faith-based support groups. Either can play a major role in long-term recovery.
Success Stories, In More Ways Than One
Many celebrities have been vocal about their struggles with substance abuse and addiction, and a few high-profile people have attributed their sobriety to their faith in God:
- Anthony Hopkins was an alcoholic, and credits both God and Alcoholic Anonymous for his recovery. He has been sober for over 40 years.
- Country singer Tim McGraw needed to drink just to play a show. He says that God was not a driving force to pursue sobriety, but for the past 8 years, he credits his faith with helping him maintain long-term recovery.
- Alec Baldwin was addicted to alcohol, drugs, and video games in his twenties. He says God helped him get sober as a personified presence in a support group. Though he has relapsed once or twice, he has been in recovery for 32 years.
- Martin Sheen has said that his Catholic faith helped him battle alcoholism. He also admits that faith is an intensely personal experience, and everybody needs to find what works for them. He has been sober for nearly 30 years.
These well-known artists and many others have spoken about religion or spiritual beliefs as playing a significant role in their decision to get sober and stay that way. While faith in a higher power is certainly not necessary to manage your addictions, there is science to suggest that it can help.
Recent Study Links Faith and Addiction Recovery
A 2015 study aimed to discover whether or not spiritual practices and religious beliefs had any effect on relapse rates in people suffering from addiction. Relapse rates in nearly 3,000 participants were studied; participants were interviewed within 12 months of intake.
The results are surprising; high spirituality was strongly tied to higher rates of remission, while low spirituality indicated a higher relapse rate. This shows that faith, religion, and spiritual practice can play a clinically significant part of the recovery process.
Of the five spiritual measures the researchers used during the study, the strongest association between remission and spirituality was found in weekly attendance of religious services. This was also the measure that involved the highest amount of social interaction.
This is an important finding, suggesting that social bonds in connection with spiritual observances can significantly reduce relapse rates among recovering addicts.
Faith-based as well as secular recovery support groups abound in America today. If you are seeking support, it is important for your recovery that you do research and find a group that best suits your needs and personal beliefs.
A Holistic Approach
Addressing your spiritual needs in treatment is just as important as addressing physical needs such as hunger. A holistic approach to recovery takes into account the needs of the mind, the body, and the soul in order to achieve long-term success.
At Recovery Village at Ridgefield, we are proud to offer access to a multi-disciplinary team of professionals dedicated to helping you pursue sobriety. Using activities such as yoga, meditation, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and mindfulness, we address your entire person and are right beside you should you wish to explore spirituality further. Our campus is located deep in the Pacific Northwest, providing a tranquil place to reconnect with your faith, or discover new depths within yourself. Contact us to start your journey toward wellness today.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.