Do I Have to Believe In God to Recover from Addiction?

This is perhaps one of the longest running debates in addiction recovery – must I believe in God, or a Higher Power, to achieve recovery? The short answer is no.

When Alcoholics Anonymous, the first of the 12 step programs was created, it was created by a group of people who were involved in a Christian group called the Oxford Group. They later split off on their own to form Alcoholics Anonymous, but even after the split, the principles of recovery that the group’s founders had learned in the Oxford Group made their way into Alcoholics Anonymous. One of those principles was reliance upon a Higher Power.

We know much more about addiction recovery now than we did when Alcoholics Anonymous was founded. For example, decades of research have uncovered a plethora of different treatments that help alcoholics and drug addicts – and when these treatments are given together, in an individualized way suited to each person – they can have a synergistic effect in promoting change. Also, we understand much more about how change occurs and how individuals can use a variety of psychotherapeutic interventions to create the changes they desire, including addiction recovery. We also know very clearly that holistic treatment – that focuses on mind, body, and spirit – is the most effective at helping addicts find lasting recovery.

But do addicts need to believe in God? Many people who are addicts have or desire a connection to their faith tradition. They find that it enhances their other efforts at health. Others like the 12 step format, finding connection and support they did not find in their place of worship. Still others have no interest in developing or maintaining participation in either a religious group or a 12 step program. Whatever your preference, you can use it to your advantage in your recovery. Whole health, which includes spiritual health, means developing a sense of purpose and ease that works for you, that enhances your feelings of well-being, calm and joy. You can create or enhance this connection in whatever form is most comfortable for you.

Find peace through meditative hand work.

When you recognize harmful patterns and seek treatment, you can increase your chances of leading a healthier life. Cliffside Malibu is here to support you in your search for an alcohol-free life. We believe you deserve to have a private, comfortable and luxurious environment as you navigate your journey to a sober life. Our center allows you to explore your mental health needs, creates a treatment plan that is unique to you and allows you to discover beneficial coping skills. To learn more about alcohol treatment at Cliffside Malibu, call (855) 403-5641.