Religion Vs. Spirituality

Addiction is a topic that will leave people torn in debate for years to come. For all of those that accept addiction as a disease of the brain, there will always be those who remain uneducated on the topic or in disbelief despite what the medical community (mostly) agrees on. In short, there will always be people who believe that the issue of addiction falls back to the morality of man. While many models of addiction, clinical and otherwise, put their trust in treatment that typically includes a spiritual aspect, it should be noted that there’s still a difference between spirituality and addiction.

You’ll see quite often that religion and spirituality are terms that are used interchangeably. Here’s how you can make the distinction between the two. Spirituality can be seen as the big picture, it doesn’t resort to one specific religion but rather encompasses a way of life. In a spiritual way of life, one might derive comfort, strength, purpose and meaning in life but doesn’t necessarily attribute that purpose to one god or religion.

In religion, people may believe in a specific higher power or specific religion like Catholicism, Christianity or Judaism that dictates the way a deity is worshipped and how one should live with purpose to honor that deity. Individuals may believe in specific rules to live by or thoughts about afterlife under their religion and believe in ways to get there.

Where as religion may make one feel closer to god or another deity, spirituality may help one feel more connected to their environment, the earth, or beyond. Spirituality won’t dictate a way to worship these things the individual has a connection with but rather a more inclusive and abstract concept to live by.

N.D. “Is There a Place for Spirituality in Addiction Recovery?”. The Canyon Malibu. (website). 2018
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