Why Do So Many Recovering Addicts Believe in God?

If you stop a recovering addict on the street and ask them how they did it, how they were able to leave their addiction behind and begin the life-long journey of sobriety, it is guaranteed that at least 9 out of 10 will tell you that they couldn’t do it without the help of God. Regardless of how they became sober to begin with, whether it is being jailed or experiencing and overdose, the majority of recovering addicts would never have been able to stay clean and sober without a firm belief in God.

Where you find spirituality is up to you. When you realize the higher power you ascribe to, you can truly have the strength to rise up from your addiction.

 

Reasons why so many recovering addicts believe in God

  • Gives you a sense of Purpose- Almost all human beings search for a purpose in life, which is why religion is so important to the majority of the population in the world, regardless of what they believe. A lot of people who develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol will tell you that they lost their sense of purpose in this world and that is one of the reasons why they turned to drugs in the first place. When people in recovery begin to develop their relationship with God, it restores their sense of purpose which gives them a reason to stay sober. 
  • Helps you feel like you are making a contribution- One of the most common teachings of Christianity is to help others, and research has shown that when helping others it actually makes us feel better about ourselves. When a recovering addict is able to help another addict on their journey to sobriety through the teachings of Jesus Christ and the word of God, they are able to feel better about themselves. Low self-esteem is a common factor for reasons why someone may have begun using drugs in the first place. 
  • Helps bring mindfulness to your recovery- Being mindful and practicing meditation is also a fundamental aspect of practicing Christianity and believing in God. These have long been shown to increase success in sobriety. Meditation relieves things like stress, muscle tension, decreases reactions in the nervous system, and reduces heart rate and blood pressure. A lot of these feelings are known to be triggers, or things that make a person in recovery want to use drugs or alcohol again. 
  • Connects you to something bigger than yourself- Having a belief in a higher power, or something that is bigger than yourself is the one of the first major steps on the road to recovery. This allows a recovering addict to feel as though they are not alone, whereas many before felt that they were. Many people will isolate when they are in an active addiction, causing them to withdraw even further. However, through their belief in God they know that He is always with them, no matter what.
  • Increases personal accountability- A lot of times when a person is active in the throws of addiction, they blame everyone and everything for all of the things that go wrong in their lives, even though it is because of their addiction. By establishing a belief in God and building that relationship, recovering addicts have a greater sense of morality and are aware of their higher authority. This helps to keep them honest with themselves and others for their own personal actions and accountability. 

 

These are just a few of the reasons why so many recovering addicts believe in God. If you have ever attended a 12-step program like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) then you know just how important having a belief in a higher power is. Although, there are few in these programs who choose to believe in a higher power that is not God and that is ok too, whatever works for you.

If you believe yourself or a loved one are struggling with an addiction, and are wondering how to get help, then we are here for you!

Please do not hesitate in asking for help, either from a licensed professional or from our specialized treatment team today.

 

(877) 228-4679

Can Spirituality Help in Addiction Recovery?

If you have ever struggled with an addiction to alcohol or drugs then you know firsthand just how hard it can be to get sober again and to lead a life of recovery. For those who know, addiction is now considered to be a disease that affects the functioning of the brain, and can potentially lead to permanent changes. This is part of the reason why it is so difficult for those who are suffering to simply just stop using drugs or alcohol without the help of an addiction specialist or having reached a rock bottom experience. Of course, there are those, very few of them in fact, who are able to pull themselves out of the wrath of addiction all by themselves, but it can not be done at all without at least the attribution towards something greater.

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Finding solace in scripture or a plan helps establish a good foundation for getting free from drugs.

 

 

What Does “Something Greater” In the 12 Step Program Mean Anyway?

According to the Oxford dictionary, spirituality can be defined as the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things, but how you define spirituality is entirely up to you. For most, however, spirituality is the belief in a higher power, something in this world that is bigger than you; a supreme being or deity. This could mean mother nature, Buddha, Christ, or whatever it is that you believe in. The common conception in the world is that there is something out there that helps explain why we are here. This is the fundamental basis for most drug and alcohol recovery and sobriety programs.

“And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:15-16).

In our world today, the most widely practiced religion is Christianity. Christianity encompasses a variety of different branches, such as; Catholicism, Protestantism, Anglicansim, and many others. The main thing in common between all the different branches of Christianity is the belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ as our savior, and God, our Lord and Father. Some may know him as Yahweh, Abba, or Cristos. Through the teachings of the Bible, many who have suffered from the grips of addiction have been saved.

You do not have to be religious in order to be spiritual. The most important thing is to feel the connection between yourself and something bigger. When someone is in an active addiction, the only thing that matters is feeding the disease, causing all sense of self worth to vanish. According to the majority of health professionals and addiction specialists, spirituality can restore your self worth and give you a new sense of purpose.

Spirituality can be a hard thing to grasp, especially at first. Even more so for people who have lost their sense of spirituality or have never had any to begin with. Developing a sense of spiritual individuality can take time, and there is no one size fits all. This is why those in recovery are urged to speak with others about their connection with their higher power. If you are new to recovery and are struggling to find your sense of spirituality, do not give up. Take the time to find what works best for you, there is no right or wrong way to develop a connection with something deeper and bigger than ourselves. 

Unfortunately, people begin using drugs or alcohol for many different reasons. Boredom, peer pressure, etc. A common experience among those who suffer from addiction is the inability to cope with the bad or negative emotions they might feel, so in order to avoid having these feelings they use drugs or alcohol to make themselves feel better. One major reason why spirituality is important is that it provides a much healthier and positive mechanism for coping with traumatic experiences or otherwise negative emotions.

Higher Sense of Purpose

Having a developed sense of spirituality, whatever that may mean for you, also gives a higher sense of purpose. Humans naturally search for a meaning in life, and the answer to that may be different for everyone, but what spirituality and religion help to provide is that sense of purpose. Several studies have shown that when a person has spiritual or religious qualities they are much more likely to succeed on their journey to sobriety, that is because they have a better sense of purpose. Just by being able to see the bigger picture, people are able to stay driven and motivated, making an incredible contribution to a successful sobriety. 

Either way, a big part of many recovery programs is based upon the belief in a higher power. The majority of 12-step groups are centered around the belief that there is something greater than ourselves. The most widespread and successful 12-step drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). For both of these programs the first 3 steps, if not all 12, are centered around this idea. The first step is “We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.” The second step is “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” The third, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” 

So, if it weren’t for being religious, or having some degree of spirituality, most people who are now enjoying the benefits of sobriety would not have made it to where they are today. Regardless of what you believe in, there is hope for recovery. No person is ever too far gone to save. We all have a purpose in life, and if you are struggling with an addiction to any drugs or alcohol, we will help you find yours on the road to recovery! It does not matter what you believe, we are all worth saving.

What is Kratom? Cutting Edge Treatment, or Addictive Drug?

kratom-treatment-addiction

UPDATED APRIL 14TH, 2020

 

As the opioid epidemic rages in the United States, the Food & Drug Administration has issued new warnings about kratom. Many people have begun talking about this widely used, natural supplement and its benefits and potential risks. Native to Southeast Asia and a member of the coffee family, kratom is seen by many as an all-natural supplement to help in a myriad of physical and mental ailments. Some of the purported uses include treatment for:

  • Pain-management
  • Opioid withdrawal symptom relief
  • Depression
  • Obesity & high blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • As an energy boost
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Is kratom dangerous? Many scientists and government agencies say yes.

But many scientists and the FDA disagree with these claims. In a statement from September 11, 2018, FDA chairman Scott Gottlieb, M.D. claims:

Science and evidence matter in demonstrating medical benefit, especially when a product is being marketed to treat serious diseases like opioid use disorder (OUD). However, to date, there have been no adequate and well-controlled scientific studies involving the use of kratom as a treatment for opioid use withdrawal or other diseases in humans. Nor have there been studies on how kratom, when combined with other substances, may impact the body, its dangers, potential side effects, or interactions with other drugs.”

While there may have not been adequate study to substantiate either side of these claims, many leading scientists and addiction specialists are championing the concerns as expressed by the FDA.

To begin, the agency claims that kratom contains opioids, which is not entirely true, yet the relationship is virtually undeniable. Mitragyna speciosa is a tree related to the coffee plant, which is not from the poppy family, but according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), some compounds found in kratom affect opioid receptors in the brain. Perhaps this is why many sufferers of opiate addiction swear by its usefulness in helping manage their withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, the reasons for this are certainly indicative of the strong potential for addiction to kratom. Because kratom affects the same brain receptors as opioids do, it is essentially like substituting one opioid addiction for another one.

Kratom exhibits a high potential for abuse and can lead to further opioid addiction.

In a study published by Addiction Biology in June of 2018, one of the two psychoactive compounds in Kratom, 7-hydroxymitragynine (or 7-HMG) has a “high abuse potential that may also increase the intake of other opiates”. The study showed that the other of the 2 psychoactive constituents, Mitragynine (MG) does not have a high potential for abuse and can actually decrease subsequent opiate intake. Since kratom is a plant, certain strains can be bred to intentionally have more 7-HMG than occurs naturally, so someone that uses kratom should be warned. The harvesting and extraction of the plant before it is packaged can also be adulterated to some extent. This could pose dangerous consequences to unsuspecting users of kratom extracts and supplements.

The safety of kratom is a major concern that has been taken into account by the FDA. In November 2017 the FDA claimed that kratom was responsible for 44 deaths since 2011. These reports hold true the assessment that kratom is an addictive drug, with a high potential for abuse that can create various health problems, including death.

These same government agencies are also warning that kratom can deter people from seeking medication-assisted treatment (MAT) such as buprenorphine, naloxone and methadone. These substance abuse treatment medications are scientifically proven to reduce opioid dependence in addicts:

“Patients who were using opioid agonist medications at the 18-month interview were more than twice as likely to report abstinence as those who were not (80.0 percent versus 36.6 percent).”National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

With this evidence aside, many people are currently using kratom as a self-administered, step-down treatment for opioid dependence. They might think this will help them steer away from opioid drugs like heroin, yet there is no research-based evidence to back up these claims.

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Many people claim an array of benefits from kratom, yet the research is limited.

 

Kratom is fairly unregulated in the US and as a result potential dangers associated with the product certainly do exist. For instance, nine of the 44 kratom-related deaths the FDA claims in their report, were from a string of overdoses in Sweden, where a mixture of kratom and tramadol (4) was the culprit.

While the FDA tries to classify kratom as an opiate, they may be only partially right. Compounds in the plant affect the same areas of the brain as poppy-based opiates do. The compounds in the plant have been shown to trigger respiratory depression, much like opioids do. This affects the brains’ ability to tell the lungs to breathe and is ultimately how many people die from opioid overdoses. They simply quit breathing, which can result in their untimely death.

Withdrawal symptoms associated with kratom further prove its addictive properties.

Just like most other drugs, kratom can result in a chemical dependency, when taken over a period of time. When a person quits using kratom, they can experience painful withdrawal symptoms. The side effects of kratom withdrawal can include: anxiety, aggression, nausea, vomiting, irritability, depression and even seizures.

Kratom is an absolutely harmful drug whose dangerous risks far outweigh any perceived benefits. Poison control center calls concerning kratom increased ten fold from 2010 to 2015. Just like other drugs, kratom must be taken in higher and higher doses to produce the desired effects over any period of use. Your body can develop a tolerance to kratom much like it can for opioids.

Since the market is relatively unregulated, different batches of kratom can be wildly different from the next, even when it comes from the same brand. This is why many kratom consumers themselves, actually advocate for better regulation of the supplement. They want whole, pure leaf supplements that are not adulterated with other compounds, as these mixtures can be extremely dangerous.

While kratom exhibits a potential for abuse and addiction, many people still make illegitimate claims on the benefits of the plant. Some people are led to believe that it can help treat opioid addiction, then they find themselves addicted to kratom. Hopefully with more research being done, we can fully understand the potential dangers of this natural supplement.