Using Spirituality to Fight Substance Use Disorders

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A Welcoming Spirit

While Iowa’s St. Gregory Recovery Center is a faith-based rehabilitation haven, that should never deter non-Christians from receiving the benefits of our recovery programs. Christ’s welcoming spirit toward believers and non-believers alike is what drives our desire to help all who come through these doors to find a sober future.

You do not have to be a religious person, nor a spiritual one, to benefit from incorporating aspects of spirituality in your journey toward recovery. The idea of religion is never forced upon our clients. If you come to believe in a higher power during your recovery, however, it is shown to have a positive effect in fighting against relapse.

Something Bigger Than You and I

Being spiritual is different than being religious. Spirituality is simply believing in a higher power without being constrained by one specific set of religious guidelines. Religion is practicing certain beliefs and habits to pay homage to the higher power of your choice.

The one thing spirituality and religion have in common is positivity and hope. Believing that there is a purpose for your life and that you were created with a plan can be a catalyst for striving toward living your best life. This often includes practicing patience, kindness, and self-awareness.

Hope for the Hopeless

When you are deep in the emotional quicksand of a substance use disorder, it can feel like there is nothing strong enough to pull you out. It is this feeling of hopelessness that keeps many people emotionally tethered to their substances.

It is a challenge for those in recovery to believe in hope. You are not alone in this thought process. Learning how to love yourself can be extremely difficult after the abuse you have put your mind and body through while using.

Even more challenging is the belief that anyone—especially a higher power—could care about your future. Maybe it is because of bridges you have burned between yourself and loved ones. Maybe it is because of legal troubles and charges against you related to your addiction.

Overcoming this feeling of unworthiness can play a large role in fighting off relapse after leaving treatment. Coming to a belief in some form of spirituality can significantly help alleviate those self-defeating feelings. Once you learn to believe you deserve to live your best sober life, you will be more open to self-awareness, kindness, and patience toward yourself.

Become a Better You

Believing there is a purpose for the universe and all of us in it comes with a challenge: find your personal purpose. When your life is consumed with substance use and its aspects, you are left with little or no time for yourself. This creates emotional and physical complications.

When you are held tightly in the talons of your substance use disorder, you tend to ignore or neglect your health, hygiene, and physical well-being. In your quest for the next high or to extend your intoxication, you can end up in some sketchy situations or dangerous places. You forget to shower, skip meals, or eat unhealthy food.

By removing the substances that have become the center of your focus, you can begin to rebuild the relationship with yourself. Taking the time you spent accessing, using, being intoxicated, and recovering from your substance use and devoting it to learning how to care for yourself instead is a wonderful place to start.

A New Understanding

Devoting yourself to understanding and embracing your feelings and emotions instead of covering them up with the haze of substance use, engaging in fitness to rebuild your body physically, and discovering ways to healthily cope with triggers or temptation are all techniques to aid in your fight against relapse. The mind is like a garden, your thoughts are like seeds. You can choose to grow flowers, or you can choose to grow weeds.

Regardless of whether you engage in religious or spiritual practices, the anticipated result of your time at St. Gregory Recovery Center is sobriety. Studies have shown that learning and utilizing some form of spirituality lessens the chance of relapse. In any case, learning to respect and love yourself, being patient with your recovery process, and taking the time to appreciate what’s important in life are the best things for a healthy, sober future.

To learn more about programs offered at St. Gregory Recovery Center, drug and alcohol treatment in Iowa, call and speak with someone today, at (888) 778-5833.

Our graduates tell their stories…

When first arriving at St. Gregory I had mixed feelings about the health and wellness workouts. I came in at 136 lbs and didn’t think it was possible to reach...
- Chris
The good life is not merely a life free from addictions, physical and/or psychological—addictions that usually are the outward manifestations of deeper problems—but a life lived in harmonious balance, free...
- Matt
I came to St. Gregory’s at my all-time worst—physically, emotionally, and mentally. Having gone through a bad rehab experience once before, I had been very reluctant in succumbing to that...
- CJ
No matter where I start my thought process when reflecting upon my time before, during and after St. Gregory’s, I always seem to end up in the same place in...
- Kaele


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