Addiction Treatment

What is the Role of Spirituality in the 12 Steps?

Written By:

Becky Babb

What is the Role of Spirituality in the 12 Steps?

What is the Role of Spirituality in the 12 Steps?

Addiction is challenging for people who are struggling and their loved ones. It cannot be cured and it also changes the way a person’s brain and body handle things. Addiction is still a big mystery, even with how much is known. The medical disease model looks at symptoms but it cannot speak to a person’s spiritual experience. The revelation that people need grow internally to fight addiction came from the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and formed the basis for what AA has become today.

Spirituality and Longing

Many previous authors and therapists looked at a history of drug and alcohol use as a way that people may try to achieve spiritual transcendence. Peyote was cited as one way people soul-search in the Native American tribes but that is a ceremonial drug used for only specific purposes. It does not speak to alcohol or drinking and how it relates to the spirit. Individual freedom, happiness, and capitalism has taken over to create a disconnect between a person’s external and internal worlds as they search for meaning in their lives.

Role of Spirituality

Not all spiritual meaning is lost if a person does not seek out AA. The principles of AA were founded on the guiding idea that people must come willing to sobriety for it to work. The 12 steps were designed as a pathway to greater connection to the soul through seeking more attainment to higher ideals. Drugs and alcohol offer a modicum of control, connection, and altered states of consciousness but they can note offer self awareness. The 12 steps are outlined in a book that approaches fundamental truths that support addiction from a spiritual sense, treating it on a soul level. Learning that a power higher than oneself is needed to overcome addiction can help a person start the journey in AA to sobriety.

Broad Concepts, One Focus

Many people who attend AA do so because they are able to do it on their own terms when it comes to spirituality. A higher power can be referenced as any that supports broadly spiritual ideas like a loving presence that gives a sense of connection to people, the self, and the earth. It may also refer to fellowship within AA. The experience of people in AA is diverse in terms of spirituality, allowing room for people of all walks of life to gain some knowledge and experience from the concept of AA. Alcoholics Anonymous does not teach a person not to drink, it helps them understand that bad habits and thoughts need support to move past in recovery. The substitute for negative thoughts and feelings that drugs and alcohol used to fill is positive, supportive places, people, and ideas that support those in recovery, including spirituality.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.

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