Spirituality has increasingly been recognized as a resource for treating addictions, ever since Alcoholics Anonymous introduced its 12-step program – with its recognition of a “higher power” – over 75 years ago.
The American Psychological Association confirms an association between spirituality and positive outcomes in substance abuse treatment. SAMSHA states “The beneficial role that faith and spirituality play in the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse and in programs designed to treat and promote recovery from substance abuse and mental disorders has long been acknowledged.”
One study published in the October 2000 issue of Psychiatric Times showed that the measure of “importance of religion” was the best predictor in indicating lack of substance abuse.
The Residential Treatment Program at the Dewey Center of Aurora Psychiatric Hospital uses a holistic and evidence-based approach to drug and alcohol rehabilitation and recovery, including incorporating spirituality. The addictions program at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital includes group therapy provided by Dr. Ashok Bedi focusing on the benefits of Eastern spirituality philosophies in recovery.
Spirituality is part of the human experience in which we explore who we are and what our life is about. Some approaches to healing, such as mindfulness based therapies, incorporate Eastern spiritual practices, without a requirement to believe in a higher power or religion. This can be a good way to get in touch with your spirituality, without getting embroiled in ambivalence about your beliefs, or feelings of inconsistency between the therapy and your beliefs or lack of them. Eastern spiritual philosophies offer much wisdom for achieving health, happiness, and wholeness, including successful recovery from addiction.
“The goal is not to get patient feeling better for 1 month or 1 year” says Dr. Bedi. “The goal is to give them instruments that can make them feel better for the rest of their lives”.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, Aurora Behavioral Health Services offers treatment programs that can help. For more information, call 1-877-666-7223 or visit the Aurora Psychiatric Hospital website.