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Running Head: Spiritual and Recovery: The process

Spirituality A Process in recovery Mr. Tony R. Smith Regent University


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Abstract In the acknowledgement of addiction, it takes a lot to overcome the situation that has you down and out, and yet it seems there is nothing you can do to prevent it from happening. Addiction is a disease of the mind, body and soul, especially if it is a drug addiction that causes you to feel sick when you don’t have it within your system. Addiction can cause you to lose your future plan’s, your love ones, your mental state, emotional state, become a man of crime, and sin. It is a worldwind that is sweeping throughout our nations, from adults to children, without any doubt or discriminations. This is why America has process a recovery method, in order to help each person with many different methods of addiction, and with that the most important part of the recovery process, is acknowledging that you can do it alone, but is seeking a higher power to work with you, as you walk this journey of recovery.


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Results In understanding the aspect of spirituality, and how it is process within the stages of recovery method, I decided to do a survey with anonymous individuals. Each person was a given a 15 question survey, with a degree of, 5- Strongly Agree, 4- Agree, 3-Unsure, 2-Disagree, 1-Strongly Disagree. The results from this survey was very important for it gave me the insight on how people view those who are recovering from drug addiction, as well as how they view the knowledge of spirituality. Most people truly believe a person is not mentally stable when they are dealing with addiction, and it seems as if that drug has a total control over them, and at the same time I see that some people may feel too much spiritual teaching can also become an addiction to those who are or once was an addict. Amazing how a people can analyze one addiction for another even if it is a good thing to be strong minded within the spiritual aspect. In obtaining my data, I was able to process this information by using the correlation coefficients of Pearson r and Spearman’s rho. My output statistic indicates the strength and direction of the relationship with spirituality and recovery. My statistic has shown that my variables are a direct relationship since .091 is close to 1.00 and it is very strong for Pearson r, as for my Spearman’s rho .091 is similar to the value of the Pearson r.


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Spirituality a process in recovery In many ways, the method of recovery has been process and rewritten many things in order for it benefits not just one addiction, but all addiction. I consider the worse and most dangerous addiction, is being addicted to illegal drug. This addiction can not only destroy your mind, but also your physical, spiritual and emotional state, leaving you in a state of bewilderment and despair. The 12 step process has been become a stage in which society can now help those walking through recovery become stronger, wiser and even more productive as they begin rebuild their lives and become what most people may consider to be normal. But is normal right, as human we all have different aspect of what a normal life should be. Society has define normal as being approximately average or within certain limits in e.g. intelligence and development, but a person who is fighting addiction consider normal to be: “Gaining back my life, understanding my actions, feeling human without being dope sick.� (Krestan, 1999)

This is why the 12 steps have been very effective in the process of recovery, helping a person to rethink their actions, change their ways, understanding their conditions, and acknowledging that they need help. Even though the 12 steps are important part of recovery, I have a placed deep interest on how spirituality play a part in recovery, and how it has become one of the main source in the 12 steps process. To acknowledge that you have a higher power or that you believe in God, can and will give you the strength, encouragement to stand strong in your sobriety. When you present this stage to someone who is recovering from addiction, there is a chance when they realize that not only having faith to overcome their addictions, but having faith can also improve their lives, giving them the comfort and intentions to do what is right, and to maintain the conditions of sobriety. (Morell; 2002)


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It has become a fact that the level of spirituality in recovery has become very effective. The stages of 12 steps teach you how to witness to others, helping, encouraging, and to endure all obstacles in life, especially when you have to face those whom you once hurt while you was in your addiction. “Paul wrote in the book of Roman, that there are things that I want to do, I cannot do, but the things I don’t want to do it seems that I am able to do.” (Roman 6:14-15, New American Standard Version). What he was expressing is that the goodness within his heart he desire to do, but it seems that he don’t know who, but all the evilness that has done is easy to do, because it is what he has been taught or learn. And this is what a addiction can do to you, it can provide you with ways of doing the things that you don’t want to and keep you focus on getting high then getting help, even when you feel that enough is enough, that addiction still seems to have the power to call you back. It is a destructive process that is hard to overcome if you don’t have the strength, the knowledge, or faith to stand strong in your recovery, and that is why including the aspect of spirituality within recovery can and will improve the lives of those who are on the their journey to sobriety.

That might bring to mind images of The addiction treatment field in America has long recognized that addictive disorders are not only bio-psycho-social conditions, but also conditions that affect the individual’s spirit. Regardless of how you manage to find recovery, you do so via spiritual means. This doesn’t necessarily indicate a religious conversion. (Gray, 1996) A more accurate description would be a personality conversion. Some addicts might get clean through a 12 step program; others might find help in counseling, therapy, religion, or through long term programs. The means and methods by which addicts get clean and stay clean over the long run


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might vary, but they all share a common thread: they change an addict from the inside out. (Gray, 1996)

prayer, meditation, nature, and so on. But in terms of overcoming addiction, the spiritual experience is defined by a complete change in personality. A drug addict or alcoholic who is still using has a strong tendency towards self-centeredness. Their goal is to self-medicate, and they continue to justify and rationalize their need to do so. It is all about them.

In recovery, if an addict is to find long term sobriety, a shift will be made. They go from this self-centered, obsessive thinking, to genuine concern for other people. Relationships become meaningful again. It is not so much that “overcoming addiction leads to a spiritual life” but the fact that “spirituality plays a role in overcoming addiction”. Another way of saying this is “bring your body and your mind will follow.” A similar saying heard in 12 step meetings is: “You can’t think your way into good living; you have to live your way into good thinking.” (Shire; 2003)

There are studies found that recovering individuals tend to report high levels of religious faith and religious affiliation, but choose to rate themselves as being more spiritual than religious, and that spirituality and religiosity may have different therapeutic benefits to people recovering from substance abuse. The topic of spirituality is becoming increasingly interesting to clinicians, psychiatrists, and researchers seeking more ways for people to deal with the temptations of addiction. There are all kinds of addictions, from drugs to cigarettes, to alcohol, to overeating, and even sex.

Although modern counseling, support groups, and psychiatry have made great strides in the treatment of addiction and dependency, the patient must want to change before the treatment


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can be successful, because addiction is tied to a person’s inner self. And that inner self is where spirituality resides.

Psychologist Jim Orford once noted that the reversal of a pervasive and persistent problem such as addiction may require a comprehensive "spiritual change" in attitude, character, and values. Addiction can be viewed as a disease of isolation, becoming disconnected to life. Research to date on addiction supports the notion that spirituality is an important topic to include in addiction treatment; spirituality has also been cited as an influence on recovery itself. The sense of meaning and purpose in life is often at low ebb during addiction treatment, but tends to increase during recovery. (Doyle; 2000)

Cognitive approaches using spiritual content have been demonstrated to be effective with both Muslims and Christians. Undeniably, the 12 Steps of AA are explicitly spiritual in the areas of: gaining awareness of a “higher power” beyond oneself, turning over one’ s will to and asking for help from the higher power, confessing and making amends for wrongs, practicing prayer and meditation and seeking to conform oneself to the will of the higher power.

Addiction recovery and spirituality can be viewed as the process of becoming connected. The more connections in our lives, the greater the chance of coming into harmony with our surroundings.

There are basically many areas of life, or types of relationships we work toward in becoming connected. Positive spirituality may be viewed as having a healthy relationship and positive selfesteem with yourself, there is the relationship you may have or want to develop with whatever form of Higher Power is right for you. It can be God, Nature, a Force of Universe, it is up to you. Whatever it maybe, it is the degree of that faith that will grant you the power, and knowledge to overcome the addiction that has kept you trap for so long.


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Conclusion

Spirituality is the essences of one soul, and to understand your soul, you must understand who you are, where you are going, and what you are able to do. So when a person become addicted to a certain drug, that essences is taken away, and you find yourself wondering who you are and what you are going to do next.

The present study provides further evidence that spiritual change contributes to recovery, at least within the context of 12-step involvement. The study also deepens our understanding of how process of spirituality involvement works within a 12-step program.

It is very important to stress knowledge of having a higher power, so that each client can be able to have that strength upon his journey. I know a person cannot live by bread alone, so why try to overcome addiction by physical, mental and emotion aspect only, allow spirituality to be a major source in your recovery. I also noticed within the survey, that everyone may not agree upon the importance of spirituality within recovery stages, and even though they may not agree, they have shown interest in acknowledging that a person in recovery needs a stable faith in a higher power in order to move forward and to become strong.


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1. Doyle; K. Substance Counselor in Recovery; 2000; Retrieved on April 2, 2009 www.public-health.uiowa.edu/pattc/states/north/toolbox/013006/

2. Gray M. Richard Ph.D, ADDICTION AND THE NATURE OF MEANING; 1996; Retrieved on April 8, 2009 http://www.nlp-now.net/nlp-addict/gray809b.html 3.

Krestan, J. Excerpted from Bridges to Recovery; 2001; Retrieved on April 2, 2009 http://www.enotalone.com/article/5569.html

4. Morell C; Radicalizing Recovery: Addiction, Spirituality, and Politics 2002.

Retrieved on April 4, 2009 http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-MDL/more.htm

5. Shire; C; Christian Rehab - Letting Go and Letting God in Recovery; 2003; Retrieved on April 15, 2009 http://ezinearticles.com/?Christian-Rehab---Letting-Go-andLetting-God-in-Recovery&id=839119 6. New Testament Bible; Book of Romans chapter 6:14-15


Spirituality in Recovery