How Do I Practice Spirituality As An Athiest In Recovery? (TOP 5 Tips)

What are the best spiritual practices for addiction recovery?

  • * Helping other people is another recommended spiritual practice for people recovering from an addiction. It is well recognized that those who engage in some type of service in recovery are more likely to stay sober. It is claimed that those who are grateful for their recovery will never relapse back to addiction.


Can you go to AA if you don’t believe in God?

The biggest support groups out there in recovery are AA and NA. You should know that regardless of your religious affiliations or no affiliations or god belief, you are welcome in AA and NA. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop drinking or using.

How does spirituality affect recovery?

For many people in recovery, accepting personal responsibility is painful. Practicing spirituality can provide healing from past mistakes. Spiritual healing often involves forgiveness, reconnecting with others and finding a sense of belonging. Some people promote healing by journaling regularly.

What is spiritual atheism?

atheism, in general, the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or spiritual beings. As such, it is usually distinguished from theism, which affirms the reality of the divine and often seeks to demonstrate its existence.

What is it called when you believe in God but don’t practice?

Agnostic theism, agnostotheism or agnostitheism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. An agnostic theist believes in the existence of a God or Gods, but regards the basis of this proposition as unknown or inherently unknowable.

Is there a 12 step program for atheists?

What are the 12 steps for atheists? According to AA Agnostica, all of the various non-theist 12 step programs have developed their own version of the 12 steps. There is no organizational standard, but they all follow the basic principles of the traditional 12 steps.

Is AA religious or spiritual?

Although AA is a spirituality-based program, it works through a number pathways. As such, individuals may benefit from AA participation regardless of their spiritual leanings. For scientists: The models explaining AA’s mechanisms of behavior change require further specification.

How can I recover my spiritual life?

Seven Ways to Improve Your Spiritual Health

  1. Explore your spiritual core. By exploring your spiritual core, you are simply asking yourself questions about the person you are and your meaning.
  2. Look for deeper meanings.
  3. Get it out.
  4. Try yoga.
  5. Travel.
  6. Think positively.
  7. Take time to meditate.

Why do I need a higher power?

With a higher power, you’re never alone. Gain a New Purpose: Finding a higher power can lower your chance of relapse. When people become sober, they often need a new healthy focus that will replace their relationship with drugs or alcohol. Creating a new spiritual path with a higher power can be that focus.

What does spirituality mean in recovery?

In recovery, spirituality refers to tapping into the part of human existence that is outside of yourself. Spirituality involves reaching out to something bigger than yourself and exploring your relationship with the grand universe.

How can you practice spirituality without religion?

5 Ways To Find A Sense Of Spirituality Without Religion

  1. Take 10 minutes to calm your mind when you wake up.
  2. Be useful to others.
  3. Know that you don’t need India, Bali, or the Amazon jungle to locate your sense of spirit.
  4. Explore what spirituality without religion means for you and who embodies it.
  5. Keep it simple.

Can you be spiritual not religious?

Many people think that spirituality and religion are the same thing, and so they bring their beliefs and prejudices about religion to discussions about spirituality. Though all religions emphasise spiritualism as being part of faith, you can be ‘spiritual’ without being religious or a member of an organised religion.

Why do atheist not believe in God?

Arguments for atheism range from philosophical to social and historical approaches. Rationales for not believing in deities include the lack of evidence, the problem of evil, the argument from inconsistent revelations, the rejection of concepts that cannot be falsified, and the argument from nonbelief.

How do you pray if you are an agnostic?

So here are four keys to praying like a Pentecostal as an atheist.

  1. Find a good listener.
  2. Be real. When sharing our innermost thoughts and feelings with no one or no-thing, there’s far less pressure to maintain a facade or pretend to be better off than we really are.
  3. Let go.
  4. Listen to your heart.
  5. The Way Forward.

What is a believer in God called?

A believer in God is called religious and a non-believer is either agnostic or atheist, depending on their specific beliefs. A religious individual could further be called Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Sunni, Shia or any number of other things depending on their specific beliefs.

How much of the world is atheist?

According to sociologists Ariela Keysar and Juhem Navarro-Rivera’s review of numerous global studies on atheism, there are 450 to 500 million positive atheists and agnostics worldwide (7% of the world’s population), with China having the most atheists in the world (200 million convinced atheists).

Recovery as an atheist

“The sole criterion to become a member of Alcoholics Anonymous is a willingness to stop drinking,” according to the organization’s official preamble. Sobriety sessions for atheists in the AA

What happens when you don’t believe in God or a higher power?

When you’re at a meeting and someone claims “the blood of Jesus” is the only way to do anything, it might be a difficult situation to navigate. In other words, when you comprehend that the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous openly allude to God, Higher Power, or Him. However, you should not let this deter you.

It’s perfectly possible to return to sobriety without believing in God.

The spiritual value of humility, in my opinion, is the most essential in AA. It is important to acknowledge our flaws and to acknowledge our potential for improvement. It is also important to recognize that our goal is not simply to remain sober but also to live in service to others. Recovery through twelve stages without the help of God Alcoholics Anonymous has been welcomed by people from a wide range of religious backgrounds. As a Zen priest in St. Paul, Minnesota, Judith Ragir conducts regular mediation retreats, which incorporate Buddhist and Twelve-Step ideas into the practice of meditation.

  1. Rabbi Abraham J.
  2. AA can be beneficial to nonbelievers as well.
  3. The Twelve Steps are recommendations rather than absolutes.
  4. Instead of approaching the Twelve Steps as dogma, see them as a set of propositions to be investigated in the laboratory of your everyday life.
  • After Covid-19, there will be more information on mental health and accompanying problems.

An AA slogan sums it up: “Take what works and leave the rest.”

The line between spirituality and religion is frequently blurred, making it difficult to tell the difference. In fact, even research studies that aim to analyze the relevance of spirituality to recovery from drug use disorders frequently discover that the words are not well defined. The most significant distinction between the concepts of spirituality and religion is that religion emphasizes believing in a superior entity, whereas spirituality emphasizes the view that everyone has a higher part of themselves and that holy experiences may be had by everyone.

Instead, it acknowledges that there is more to existence than the physical world, but individuals are free to interpret what motivates them independently of the doctrines of any particular religion.

People who follow a kind of spirituality prefer to separate their views from the primary principles of religion, whereas those who practice religion tend to include components of spirituality into their beliefs.

Religion and Substance Abuse

There is a huge amount of research studies that have been conducted on the topic of the importance of spirituality and religious beliefs to recovery from drug use disorders that date back decades. In general, data shows that those who include a “spiritual” or “religious” component into their rehabilitation experience more life satisfaction and may also see improvements in their physical health. The evidence, on the other hand, is difficult to evaluate since the technique employed in many of the investigations is substandard.

  • Individuals who have devoted themselves to spiritual or religious beliefs tend to have lower rates of substance addiction than those who have not committed themselves to such ideas.
  • This appears to be supported by research.
  • Furthermore, the majority of the research that has been conducted on 12-Step programs like as Alcoholics Anonymous does not indicate that these programs are any more successful than recovery programs that do not have a religious or spiritual component to their structure.
  • When it comes to serving their patients, medical practitioners are frequently expected to be aware of their patients’ various religious and spiritual beliefs systems in order to provide them with better care.

Ways to Get in Contact With Us

If you suspect that you or someone you care about is battling with addiction, please allow us to hear your story and assist you in determining a treatment plan. For those interested in learning more about therapy, we provide a number of options that are confidential, free, and need no commitment on your part.

  • Make a phone call to us at to confirm your insurance coverage for treatment.

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Principles of Effective Treatment

In spite of the evidence that religion and spiritual approaches can improve outcomes in the recovery from substance use disorders, it is important to note that the overall body of research on the effective principles of substance use disorder treatment does not specifically mention the contribution of spiritual-based or religious-based interventions as important factors in evidence-based treatments for substance use disorders.

Even the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) does not specifically include any notion of spirituality or religion as one of the 13 major principles of treatment for recovery in one of the most comprehensive overviews of the principles of effective substance use disorder treatment published by the organization.

The following are some of the fundamental principles:

  • It is necessary to acknowledge that addiction is a curable condition that affects the way the brain functions. There is no single technique to treatment that will be effective for all patients. Treatment interventions must be provided when and where the individual requires them to be effective. In order to be effective, substance addiction therapy must address the person’s numerous needs, rather than simply his or her use of drugs or alcohol. An important factor contributing to a good treatment result is the ability to continue in therapy for an appropriate amount of time. Interventions in the form of behavioral therapies such as individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy are the most prevalent types of treatment for drug use disorders
  • Drug treatment, particularly when paired with behavioral therapy, can be a critical component of drug abuse rehabilitation. Treatment should begin with an evaluation of the individual’s requirements, followed by the development of a formal treatment plan, followed by periodic evaluation and revision of the plan as necessary to meet the individual’s needs. The majority of people who suffer from drug abuse disorders also suffer from co-occurring mental health illnesses, which must be treated in conjunction with the substance misuse disease in question. Medical detoxification (also known as medical detoxification) is merely the initial stage in the rehabilitation process. The substance misuse behavior of persons who solely undergo medical detoxification therapy does not alter much over time. Following medical detoxification, individuals require long-term therapy regimens. To be effective, substance use disorder therapy does not have to be entirely voluntary on the part of the patient. In terms of results, persons who are compelled into treatment have outcomes that are similar to those of individuals who voluntarily join therapy. Those enrolled in substance abuse disorder treatment programs should have their drug and alcohol usage monitored on a continual basis. It is usual to experience lapses and relapses. Individuals enrolled in drug abuse disorder treatment programs should also be screened for infectious illnesses such as HIV, hepatitis, and TB, among others. Those who test positive for any of these illnesses should be treated as a result of their findings
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The principles of successful treatment for drug use disorders outlined above are supported by a large number of research studies. It is important to note that no single concept refers to the requirement of a religious or spiritual approach in recovery or rehabilitation. As a result, while including religion or spirituality into a drug use disorder treatment program may increase the advantages of therapy, these components are neither required nor sufficient for complete recovery from any substance use disorder.

What Types of Programs Incorporate Religion or Spirituality into Treatment?

Virtually all treatments for drug misuse, including pharmaceutical management, behavioral therapy, and alternative therapies, are founded on the requirement that the patient take a spiritual or religious approach to recovery. No of whether or whether a person believes in a divine supreme being or holds spiritual ideas, the usage of drugs will be just as beneficial as it would be otherwise. The use of behavioral treatments, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is not influenced by a person’s religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs.

It is possible to tailor treatment to the needs of those who have a strong religious commitment or who wish to incorporate notions of spirituality into their recovery, or these notions can be completely discarded for those who are atheists, agnostics, or who simply do not have any specific religious type commitment at all.

Peer support groups such as 12-Step groups and other similar organizations are the sorts of programs that often aim to include religion or spirituality into rehabilitation.

Many of these organizations, on the other hand, display acceptance for those who do not adhere to any form of spiritual or religious belief system.

Options for Nonreligious, Agnostic, or Atheist Individuals

Participants in peer support groups who do not wish to be involved in programs that are centered on spirituality or a religious doctrine, but who do wish to engage in peer support groups that allow them to freely interact with others in recovery, will have no trouble finding groups that meet their requirements. For atheists and agnostics, some of the most significant organizations that provide nonreligious surroundings acceptable for them include the following:

  • A non-spiritual, non-religious method to helping people to accomplish effective recovery from substance misuse is Smart Management and Recovery Training (SMART recovery). Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) is a non-profit network of secular rehabilitation programs
  • It was founded in 1995. Life Ring is a non-denominational organization that promotes abstinence from drugs and alcohol. Moderation Management (MM) is a secular program that focuses on the restricted consumption of alcoholic beverages by those in recovery from substance abuse. This training may not be suitable for all participants. Women for Sobriety is a non-profit, secular organization dedicated to assisting women in recovery.

However, it should be highlighted that persons in recovery, regardless of whether or not they include spiritual or religious practices into their substance addiction therapy, should get involved in programs that follow the basic principles of treatment outlined above.

4 Ways Atheists and Agnostics Recover

How can atheists and agnostics recover is a frequently asked topic by individuals who are attempting to become clean as well as others who are unfamiliar with addiction and recovery. When it comes to sobriety, many people associate it with the 12 steps and Alcoholics Anonymous, and when they think of the 12 steps, they think of religious terminology and higher powers. Addiction, according to the concept of Alcoholics Anonymous, is a spiritual condition that can only be resolved by the application of the 12 steps and faith in a higher power.

There are some individuals who are not religious and do not believe in a higher force than themselves, and as a result, the traditional 12-step way of life does not connect with them.

Is it still possible for them to recover? Here are four methods for atheists and agnostics to overcome their addictions.

1. AA for Agnostics

Agnostics, freethinkers, and atheists are all welcome in the Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship, which has its own sect. They even created a book titled The History of Agnostics in AA, which is available online. AA Agnostica andSecular AA are two organizations dedicated to promoting a religion-free version of Alcoholics Anonymous. Traditional AA organizations do not recite prayers at the opening or finish of their meetings, nor do secular AA groups advocate for the belief in God as a prerequisite for getting sober or maintaining sobriety – a significant distinction from traditional AA groups.

Secular Alcoholics Anonymous adheres to the ideals of the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous and encourages members to share their experiences with the larger AA community through the General Service framework of the organization.

2. Secular Organizations for Sobriety

Secular Organizations for Abstinence (often known as S.O.S.) is a non-profit network of groups committed to assisting people in achieving and maintaining sobriety from alcohol, drug, and food addiction. S.O.S. also stands for “save our selves,” highlighting the concept that members of S.O.S. have the major part in their recovery. S.O.S. recognizes and accepts differences, fosters healthy skepticism, and promotes rational thinking. On a daily level, each member is accountable for their own sobriety in the group.

3. SMART Recovery

In addiction recovery, SMART recovery is a method of self-management that incorporates both in person and online meetings. Members learn about recovery strategies based on the most recent scientific research and by participation in science-based mutual aid groups that enable them to help themselves. The four-point SMART program consists of the following components: developing and keeping motivation, coping with impulses, controlling thoughts, feelings, and actions, and living a balanced life.

New scientific knowledge is continually being made accessible, which means that the procedures and information for SMART Recovery are constantly growing with the times.

4. Personal recovery path

As an alternative to these wonderful secular recovery support groups and programs, atheists and agnostics frequently forge their own paths. Individuals can quit drinking and using drugs by seeking out online recovery support, reading memoirs and other informative books about addiction, reaching out to a trusted friend who is also in recovery for support, hiring the services of a recovery coach, or simply engaging in healthy living habits such as yoga, meditation, and exercise. Alternatively, they may not feel that any of the traditional recovery programs appeal to them, or they may not have the resources or meetings accessible in their area to participate in some of the secular organizations that we’ve discussed.

  • To be honest, I was too terrified to go to AA, and the requirement of faith in a higher force troubled me.
  • I discovered a plethora of websites that discussed addiction and recovery, as well as accounts of genuine individuals who were living regular, enjoyable lives in sobriety.
  • People are truly able to live without the use of drugs and alcohol, have fun, and are willing to talk about their challenges.
  • Blogs, books, and writing were all instrumental in getting me through my first year.
  • Atheists and agnostics heal in the same way as persons who identify as spiritual or religious do, by following the recovery route that is most effective for them.

It may alter or evolve over time, but the important thing is that people feel included, connected, and are able to live their best lives while abstaining from alcohol.

The 12 Steps for Atheists: It’s not necessarily the “God” you think

An unexpected guest came into Ian’s office yesterday, and when she noticed the word God in the serenity prayer he posted on the wall, she burst out laughing. You could see she simply wanted to get out of there. Unfortunately, it is a reaction that occurs much too frequently, and we let our preconceptions about the meaning of the term to prevent us from taking advantage of our finest opportunity to grow better. Continue reading. Please don’t stop reading. More people recover from addiction through the 12-step program than through any other type of addiction therapy.

Although religious people have a powerful tool for rehabilitation, the most essential thing for all of us to recognize is that we are not God, that we are not responsible for everything that happens in the world, and that there are forces far larger than our own that we must submit to.

AA Agnostica Article:

You’re a well-informed atheist who takes your beliefs seriously. And you’ve recently been aware that you could be dying as a result of the garbage you’ve been putting into your body. A smidgeon of it. This may be due to a hangover or a case of dope sickness, but the dirt has been hitting the fan a lot recently, and drinking and/or drugging has played a major role in all of the commotion. You’ve heard about 12-step recovery and are interested in giving it a try. You are aware that there are alternative programs, but this one is ubiquitous.

  • Following a thorough investigation over several years, you have concluded that the God theory does not correspond to your honest experience of the universe.
  • At least, not in the manner that the vast majority of religious people you’ve ever encountered think about it.
  • Getting loaded was top of your priority list, and you were always striving to feel better than – well, whatever you were feeling at the time.
  • It’s difficult job, and it’s kept you very busy for quite some time.
  • God is everywhere the second you step foot in the door.
  • The introductory prayer is filled with references to God.

God is in the process of putting everything in place. Finally, they conclude the proceedings with the Lord’s Prayer. What the hell is going on? It’s all right. You don’t have to believe in God to accomplish your goals. It’s happened to a lot of people. There are a lot of them.

So how do you approach this 12-step thing as an atheist?

First and foremost, anticipate that many of your fellow AAs, NAs, CAs, or whatever will find you difficult to understand. Of course, not everyone will be aware that you are an atheist unless you insist on wearing your Nietzsche T-shirt proclaiming “God is dead” to each and every meeting. However, simply by being honest in your words, you will disclose yourself on a regular basis. You’ll usually be placed in a box labeled “UNWILLING TO BELIEVE,” with the following components stated on the exterior of the box: There will be many of the most orthodox 12-steppers you encounter — the ones who have memorized hundreds of quotations from the literature and their accompanying page numbers – who will feel no need to open the box and peek inside.

  1. After all, it’s all written on the label.
  2. At the time of writing, the author of that chapter considered himself to be somewhat of an Aquinas.
  3. He, like you, was only doing the best he could under the circumstances.
  4. Moreover, you will discover in that somebody a kind companion who will guide you through the process.
  5. Along with this, you will discover that being completely understood and accepted by everyone is not the be-all and end-all of human existence.
  6. Life isn’t always fair.
  7. That hasn’t been the issue thus far.

Why hang out with these starry-eyed believers?

Having some sort of conversion experience and discovering that God has removed your desire to go high is unexpected (after all, AA’s highly devout co-founder spent his first two and a half years clean needing a drink) and unexpectedly liberating. And, of course, you aren’t pleading with God to heal your problems. Moreover, even those who believe in intercessory prayer and who have petitioned Him to remove their different human frailties fully acknowledge that, for reasons that remain inexplicable, He is unable to accomplish what He has promised.

So what’s the point of being here?

These individuals are endowed with something. You can see it in the grins of the greatest of them, and you can feel it in their bodies. Some of their stories are even worse than yours, and they’re fat and content in their current state. This unending, insane habit of eating yourself alive for emotional sustenance until you’re biting away at your own heart has a remedy, and it’s available to you now.

Nothing is being loaded into their vehicles, and nothing is being done with their hands tied behind their backs. They just don’t require it any longer. Assuming that there is no God up there, what in the world is at work here is a mystery to you.

They stopped playing God

You are not in control of the world, so quit attempting to do so. You can’t change the law of cause and effect, especially when the cause is a drink or a drug and the result is a desire to drink or use even more of the substance. Wishing, hoping, and pretending that you have the power to alter things that you don’t have the ability to change – this may be defined poetically as “playing God.” The people that work here have resigned from their positions. I’m only referring to those who are actively putting the ideals indicated in the stages into action.

  1. For the most part, they’re a depressing bunch of people.
  2. That sense of accomplishment during their clean and sober period served as their new drug of choice.
  3. However, those who have truly made the decision to cease playing God have something you will find useful.
  4. And the most significant of those rules is that if you’re an alcoholic or an addict, you are not permitted to get high on recreational drugs.
  5. They’ll tell you about prisons, institutions, and death, and you’ll be able to see that it’s real based on the course of your own life.
  6. Perfectly sensible, in fact.
  7. Isn’t it enough to get you started?
  8. The fact that you are not God implies, very simply, that you do not have the authority to prescribe the rules of reality.
  9. That is exactly what the 12-step program has in store for you.
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You can accept reality as your Higher Power

You will be informed that you have the option of choosing your own Higher Power. According to the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous, this is only a placeholder for God, a method to get started on the journey to discovering Him. However, in the rooms, the atmosphere is often much more relaxed. You can embrace as your greater power the fact that you will not be able to get loaded safely, no matter how much you want you could, despite your best efforts. The knowledge that your actions have repercussions is inextricably linked to those consequences at all times.

  • At times in the past, you may have recognized the truth of this situation, but there was always something missing in your relationship with that fact.
  • Putting oneself before the facts is a dangerous proposition.
  • A lot will be spoken about humility in these rooms, so be prepared to listen up.
  • Due to the fact that you will be employing reality as your higher power, you will need to modify the stages somewhat from their existing and now canonical language.

You might also meditate in order to build awareness of what is genuine in your life. This will not necessarily please all of the traditional 12-steppers, but it is absurd to expect literalists to be open-minded in this situation. And getting honest is the whole point of this exercise.

How about the inventory stuff? Sounds like the confessional.

Yes, it is exactly what it began as in the Oxford Groups, from which the early stages of AA derived their inspiration. They referred to it as “confession and reparation.” However, the values at stake are practical and ethical rather than religious in nature. Before you can set off in the appropriate direction, you must first determine where you are now located. If you don’t have the “YOU ARE HERE” part, not even a compass and a map will help you. And then, in the long run, engaging in some form of ethical living is a better painkiller than whatever you’ve been using up to this point.

Consider this section of the software to be a type of navigational tool to save you from causing even more devastation in the world around you.

Those twelve steps on the wall and in the book, in essence, signify four things for an atheist: they represent:

  • Recognition that you haven’t been able to get high in anything close to moderation and without wreaking devastation on a continuous basis
  • A recognition that this is a type of natural law for you, and that resisting it has been a complete waste of time and energy
  • Willingness to let reality guide your behavior from this point forward in this and all other situations
  • A resolve to do all in your power to avoid hurting yourself or others, and to lend a hand when you can

It does get better as you progress down this road. Maintaining some form of daily practice that helps you be attentive of reality – particularly the world that your addiction has created – and of your role in it can help you boost your chances of success. Service from inside a sober community is extremely beneficial in this situation. That is my personal experience, as well as the experience of many other atheist alcoholics and addicts who are trying their best to make their way up this road.

Spiritual Solutions for Agnostics and Atheists at Discovery Place

Many active addicts and alcoholics are scared off by the word spiritual, which is sometimes abbreviated as “s-word.” Get me out of here as soon as possible! As a result, many rehabilitation programs discourage participants from adopting any religious or philosophical beliefs other than atheism or agnosticism. The concept of a spiritual anything, much alone spiritual answers to addiction, should be avoided at all costs. Agnostics, atheists, and those who were reared in religious environments that they now find abhorrent for a variety of (and sometimes justified) reasons are among those who hold these beliefs.

Simply mentioning a spiritual solution causes many to flee the room, seeking answers in science, medicine, psychology, tarot cards, or their own particular intelligence.

It’s also true that they may “work” for certain people (assuming by “working” one implies refraining from using or consuming alcoholic beverages).

We think that recovery should include more than just pleasure, completeness, joy, and camaraderie; it should also include a functional set of tools—dare we call them spiritual?—to deal with the curveballs that life throws at us all.

Stopping is a beginning

When you stop to think about it, it isn’t even logical to anticipate that simply abstaining from drugs and alcohol will be sufficient to bring about health and happiness. Toxic intake, as well as the outrageous behaviors that go hand in hand with it, have taken a significant toll on our physical, mental, and psychological health, as well as the health of others. What happens once the physical healing process has begun? The majority of people who have recovered will tell you that once the instruments of self-medication were put away, their unmedicated thoughts, feelings, and attitudes became too raw and strong to allow for peace of mind and satisfaction.

Recovery, on the other hand, is not insignificant.

Having a sense of right and wrong, being there for others, and doing the right thing when no one is looking (and recognizing when we don’t and understanding how to make it right) are all examples of being in harmony with ourselves.

Kindness is a spiritual idea, as is forgiveness, both of which are essential components of a successful design for life strategy.

Mind, body—and spirit

Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a disease that affects not only the brain and the body, but also the spirit. (“Spirit” can be replaced with “a sensation of well-being” if the term “spirit” makes you uncomfortable; otherwise, continue reading. If willpower fails even the most determined addict who attempts to stop, and if a genius suffering from pancreatitis drives into a liquor store for another bottle despite the fact that doing so will cause him to pass out in a matter of hours, there must be a reason for this.

  1. His sense of belonging to something­­­­—anything!
  2. Hisspirithas soul grown weakened, and his sense of self-worth and dignity has vanished.
  3. Many people believe that drugs and alcohol are the root cause of these problems.
  4. This is an oversimplified statement.

A time of detoxification or dryness, during which the body recovers and the fog lifts, leaves him with a spirit that is naked, raw, and replete with feelings of guilt and rage.


It goes without saying that the mind, the body, and this other sense—of right and wrong, of caring, of doing the right thing for ourselves and others—are all intertwined. What do you remember about having a bad sensation in the pit of your stomach as a youngster, the first time you cheated on someone or took something that wasn’t yours? For want of a better term, why not refer to it as “spirit” instead? What is it like to wake up with a hangover in the morning? However, the exhilaration that comes with winning a video game or earning well-deserved acclaim for a job well done are both “spiritual” experiences that have an impact on our minds and bodies.

As a result, we understand what we mean when we talk about spiritual remedies, and why we believe that getting your mind clear and your body healthy are not enough to give a better way of life when the drinking and drugging have stopped working.

We’re talking about feeling confident and comfortable in your own body.

The Body

It is hard to overstate the importance of the physical part of rehabilitation. Individuals struggling with addiction and alcoholism frequently have physical illnesses, and there may be complicated behavioral and psychological issues that require expert medical care, which is typically overlooked or disregarded during years of misuse.


Detoxification may be required immediately and clearly, particularly in severe situations. In the early phases of drug withdrawal, medical assistance may be required for “drug sickness,” DT’s, and other physical withdrawal symptoms. These are generally over quite quickly (at least in retrospect), after which food, enough sleep, and a regular schedule of activities begin to restore the body’s ability to function normally. Some people require medications and therapies for pre-existing diseases that must be delivered with care and professionalism.

Indeed, he is—or, at the very least, he is beginning to flee out of the woods rather than rushing further into them.

There is an exciting path ahead, one that is full of potential, but the job will be challenging.

In the olden days, it was said that if you can sober up a drunken horse thief, you’ll still end up with a horse thief. Even if we quit drinking and using drugs, the unpleasant aspects of ourselves that have been covered up by drugs and alcohol will not just vanish.

Beware of Detox Advertising

The marketing of medical detoxification, particularly in the context of opioid addiction, is awash with messages. Detoxification may be essential, but it is not the same as recovery. It marks the beginning of a new chapter. Additionally, there are treatment institutions that promote recovery as a type of spa getaway, complete with holistic physical therapy designed to “end addiction once and for all.” Many of these behaviors, we feel, are necessary components of a good recovery lifestyle; nevertheless, without addressing the other two sides of the triangle—the mental and spiritual—addicts and alcoholics set themselves up for relapse or an unhappy life of abstinence in recovery.

The Mind

Another common misconception is that psychiatric therapy using various pharmaceuticals can “cure” addiction and drinking. This is not true. As an illustration, consider the following statement: “If only Tony could get a grip on his post-traumatic stress disorder, he wouldn’t drink or use.” While it is true that Tony need medical care for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression, it does not follow that he will get sober. Alcoholism and other addictions, once they have taken root, get entwined with pre-existing diseases, each of which feeds the other while remaining remarkably self-sufficient.

  1. It has the potential to be triggered—and will be triggered—again.
  2. In the beginning, drugs and alcohol can help to alleviate loneliness.
  3. It is fair to believe that addressing the cause, so to speak, will lessen the need for self-destructive self-medication and other harmful behaviors.
  4. They take on a life of their own once addiction or alcoholism have taken possession of a person.
  5. Addictions, on the other hand, have a distinctive character in that they continue even when no one else is around to aid them.

Do I Really Need a Recovery Program?What About Other Solutions?

A person who is seeking for reasons why a rehabilitation program would not “work” will not have to go far to find them. He already has a lot on his mind. Additionally, a fast Google search will turn up countless pages of “articles” on various methods of achieving long-term sobriety. Even more make subtle (and not so subtle) differences between addiction and abuse while making sales pitches for solutions to “live well!” The debate over whether or not someone is a “full-blown addict” is as old as the cultivation of herbs and the production of wine.

Others use alternative approaches and eventually give up.

The fact that there is a holistic approach to healing that takes into consideration the mind, body, and soul is well known.

It has helped many individuals live full and joyful lives again. Most people never think about using it again. In order to deal with the ordinary (and irregular) issues of life, they have a ready-to-use “toolkit” and support systems at their disposal.

Agnostics and Atheists: Hello.

Many people who are sober today were formerly skeptical, if not outright antagonistic, to the idea that there was a spiritual component to recovery. We have a good understanding of them. Despite this, a significant number of atheists and agnostics employ what we refer to as “spiritual remedies.” They make no claims of conversions or “born-again” experiences, which are commonly linked with religion. Furthermore, there are many people who have maintained long-term sobriety despite being agnostic or atheist but still adhering to spiritual values.

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Discovering How to Recover

There was a time when many people in recovery were hesitant, if not outright antagonistic, to the idea that there was a spiritual component to recovery. This is something we fully comprehend. Many atheists and agnostics, on the other hand, resort to what we call “spiritual remedies” to their problems. No conversions or “born-again” experiences are claimed, as is common in religious circles. Moreover, there are many persons who have maintained long-term sobriety despite being agnostic or atheist but yet adhering to spiritual values.

A Higher Power for Atheists & Agnostics: 6 Alternatives to God

A common surprise for newcomers to addiction treatment is the frequency with which God or other aspects of faith are brought up (such as prayer). Many rehabs are based on 12-step-based treatment programs, which can place a strong focus on religious themes and other religious symbols. As a result, folks who aren’t religious may find these references scary or off-putting, and they may find it difficult to connect with the stages and their underlying ideas. We need to begin by addressing the most difficult obstacle to overcome: the notion of “God.”

12 StepsReligion

The motivation for all of the religious references Alcoholics Anonymous was started in 1935 as a Christian non-profit organization. However, as the organization has evolved, so has the diversity of its membership. As such, AA (and the many organizations built after it) altered its literature and methodology to enable spiritualital components to be open to interpretation. Despite the fact that there are still faith-based 12 step organizations that adhere to the original material, it is just as simple to locate non-religious 12 step groups, some of which do not include any religious allusions at all.

Alternatives To “God”: Finding Your Higher Power

In 12-step groups, the emphasis is on finding “a deity of your own comprehension.” Many others, on the other hand, notice that the hairs on the back of their neck rise up when they hear the term god. These individuals are instantly removed from 12 step programs because they felt under pressure to comprehend god. For many, the phrase “higher power” is a more adaptable concept that is simpler to understand regardless of one’s religion (or lack of religious) history or affiliation. Consider it a factor that had some type of impact on your life but over which you had no control and over which you had no way of knowing.

The source of this “power larger than myself” might be anything, as long as it has importance to you personally. Some proposals that the Freedom Center staff has utilized include the following:

1. Laws of Nature

My daughter and I were at an airport one summer, waiting to take a simple hour-long journey back to our own country.” Because of a line of storms that passed over our flight route, the flight had been delayed for 50 minutes by the time we got at the gate. It didn’t take long for those minutes to turn into hours—nine hours, in fact, that were spread out slowly over the day, during which I had to not only calm my mounting worry but also occupy my six-year-old daughter. When our flight was ultimately canceled, I had planned to return home that evening, but those plans were thrown out the window, and we now had to wait until the next morning to get back into town.

Mother Nature has a way of stomping on our best-laid plans, as seen by the fact that rain may ruin an outdoor wedding.

People’s homes are destroyed by hurricanes.

2. Laws of Science

“When scientists discovered the atom, they assumed they had discovered the tiniest particle that could possibly exist. However, they later found that atoms are composed of much smaller constituents. With every question that scientists are able to answer, other ones arise. The question “Why?” is the most often asked of all. Which planet has more gravity than the other and why is this so? What is the reason behind this? What makes it all work? What is the purpose of gravity? When you start digging into the underlying principles of scientific rules, you will find that they are illusive and unfathomable to the human mind.

3. Love

“Love is an unlimited resource—and it’s also a very strong one. ” It has spawned a number of songs. Epic love tales are shown in movies, and the subject of many books, both fiction and nonfiction, has been written about it. However, love as a higher force does not have to be limited to romantic relationships. As long as we understand that love is acceptance, we may see love as something that can unify and strengthen us all from a higher vantage point.”

4. The Flow of the Universe

“Some believe that things happen in the way they should; others believe that things happen in the way they do. The latter is based on the assumption that the cosmos is moving in some way, and that we as humans have little control over where it is headed. Yes, this can be applied to the moon, the stars, and the planets, as well as their rotational motions across their orbital planes. But it also applies to the way things happen in general. Who or what caused me to be born to the parents I was born to?

What was I thinking when I went to the party where I met my husband? Why were we blessed with the presence of a child? Why have we been blessed with the gift of recovery? That is a question to which no one can truly respond. “It’s just the natural flow of things in the cosmos.”

5. Music and the Arts

Consider listening to an old favorite music and paying attention to the feelings and memories that might arise apparently out of nowhere when you hear it. The emotionality of music is a very strong force indeed. Musicians frequently claim that the songs they create do not originate with them, but rather pass through them. However, you are not need to make art in order to experience its power. How frequently do you find yourself being affected by a piece of artwork? Have you ever been moved to tears by a novel?

However, with the correct combination of words and sounds, they have the ability to alter individuals.”

6. Humanity

“Recovery is about belonging to a group. This concept is based on the fact that all humans have a shared experience. Everyone struggles, and sometimes they lose, sometimes they win, and sometimes they come out on the wrong side of the fence. The human experience is what binds us together and allows us to sympathize with one another on a deeper level. What is best for all of humanity, then, can only benefit all of humanity. I’ve witnessed firsthand the interconnectivity of persons in recovery, especially when I’ve witnessed one person in recovery guiding another who is still battling to a meeting or therapy.

“There is no such thing as an island.”

No, You Don’t Need To Be Religious To Participate in 12 Step Groups

Technically, Alcoholics Anonymous is available to everybody, regardless of religion, color, or creed, according to the organization’s website. Different faiths, including agnostics and aethists, can still engage in 12-step recovery programs and will be made to feel extremely welcome in such communities. Regardless of your spiritual or religious convictions (or lack thereof), do not allow them prevent you from participating in 12 step programs and benefiting from the community, support, and personal growth they provide.

People who have suffered with addiction, loved ones who have assisted family members who have struggled with addiction, and addiction treatment experts make up the Freedom Center Editorial team.

How Atheists Can Benefit From 12-Step Recovery

Those suffering from drug use disorders can come together through 12-Step recovery groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and many more. These programs help people sustain their recovery by providing mutual support, encouragement, and accountability. There is a wide range of programs available, but those that are most closely tied to Alcoholics Anonymous have their foundations in Christian tradition and practice. As a result, there has been tension between 12-Step programs and atheists, or individuals who do not believe in God or a higher spiritual reality, as well as between religious groups.

As a result, some people who might benefit from these programs have been turned away. Despite the use of religious terminology, many atheists, freethinkers, and humanists have found AA meetings and 12-Step programs to be useful, regardless of their religious beliefs.

Alcoholics AnonymousSpirituality

It was formed in 1935 by individuals linked with the Christian-affiliated Oxford Group that became known as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). These individuals were intimately aware with the effects of alcoholism, as well as the difficulties associated with achieving and maintaining sobriety. They contributed to the widespread acceptance of the notion that addictive behaviors are illnesses rather than faults of character. They also worked on developing methods that would foster sobriety via spiritual surrender and mutual support, among other things.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is still a non-religious, non-denominational, and non-political organization, with the sole qualification for membership being a willingness to quit drinking on a regular basis.

Religious Elements

The beliefs and practices of the organization, on the other hand, have significant religious components. Several times throughout the 12-Steps and other AA material, such as The Big Book, God is directly referenced; nevertheless, facilitators are quick to point out that the name “God” can be substituted with any higher force or concept. Prayers are usually said at the beginning and conclusion of meetings as well. Attendance at AA meetings has also been linked to higher spiritual awakenings among members, as well as a reduction in alcohol use.

The 12 Steps For Atheists

The twelve steps at the heart of AA and many similar programs are only guidelines intended to assist a participant’s recovery; participants are not required to accept or follow them if they are unwilling or unable to do so. Participants are not required to accept or follow them if they are unwilling or unable to do so. The 12-Steps are meant to be approached in a religious or spiritual manner, although atheists and agnostics who are uncomfortable doing so are invited to define their own higher force as they see appropriate.

  • Love, family members, the beauty of nature, the rules of science, awareness, the weave or flow of the cosmos, creativity, and human potential are all examples of what makes life worth living.

No Spiritual Requirements

If a person attends an AA or other 12-Step program and does not choose to pray, they are under no need to do so. They are also under no obligation to address their prayers to any specific religious figure or concept. Furthermore, people are free to reinterpret and figure out their own rehabilitation in whatever way they see fit. Members of AA are not required to be religious or spiritual according to Bill W., one of the co-founders of the organization. There are no requirements placed on anybody.

That is entirely up to them.”

Why Mutual Support Groups Work

The success of AA and its offshoots, according to some experts, is primarily attributed to two very distinct factors: first, the fact that everyone’s experience is unique, and second, the fact that the spiritual aspects included in AA meetings have value for many participants.

  • Time spent with those who encourage and support one’s efforts
  • Improving one’s confidence in one’s ability to abstain from substance use in social settings

Given that these two benefits are more closely associated with actively engaging in an open and motivated community than with the finer elements of the 12-Steps itself, involvement in any organization can bring the same benefits as AA for persons who do not have spiritual aspirations.

Other Support Groups For Atheists

If standard 12-Step programs do not work for a person because of religious or spiritual factors, there are other options to examine as a possible solution.

Alternate 12-Step Programs

In today’s society, many 12-Step meetings do not include the spiritual aspects and terminology present in AA and other recovery programs. In the case of AA Agnostica, for example, it was created as a non-religious alternative to traditional 12-Step recovery programs. Using a modified version of the 12-Steps and the Serenity Prayer that does not contain the term God, this organization has issued a book.

Secular Organizations For Sobriety

This organization, which goes by the acronym SOS, was formed expressly for persons who are uncomfortable with the spiritual aspects of 12-step recovery programs. It is not discussed in detail at meetings, but spiritual individuals are still invited to participate.

SMART Recovery

Addiction treatment is made easier by Smart Management and Recovery Training (SMART), a global community of no-cost mutual-support meetings for addicts. However, unlike 12-Step programs, they do not push members to surrender their will to a higher authority. Instead, individuals are urged to develop and strengthen their own drive to transform their lives. SMART Recovery is a four-point approach of recovery that incorporates components of motivational enhancement therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy into a structured environment.

Online Support GroupsForums

Many free, web-based communities, such as subreddits, discord channels, Facebook groups, and a number of other free, web-based communities, can help folks who are battling with drug misuse connect with others who are going through a similar situation. It is possible to attend online meetings that are aired live. Please get in touch with us right away if you would like to learn more about our drug addiction treatment clinics.

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