Benefits of Spirituality and Mindfulness in the Addiction Recovery Process – Term Paper Example

Benefits of Spirituality and Mindfulness in the Addiction Recovery Process Benefits of Spirituality and Mindfulness in the Addiction Recovery Process
Spirituality and mindfulness are two important interrelated pillars of the current holistic therapeutic approach used in drug recovery process. According to Colistra et al. (2014), spirituality and mindfulness is increasingly becoming one of the most commonly used therapeutic options in the addiction recovery process of adolescents as a complement to the mainstream approaches. This is particularly attributed to a diverse number of potential benefits offered by spirituality and mindfulness some of which include increased self awareness, reduced relapse provoking stressors, improved internal peace and induced peace of mind.
One of the major benefits of using spirituality and mindfulness in the addiction recovery process of teenagers and adolescents is that it enhances self awareness of the patients thereby improving their ability to cope up with and manage stress. For example, incorporating spirituality and mindfulness ensures that the recovery patients are focused o the present with less worry about the future. The individuals then become more aware of their tendency to worry about their future and this makes it easier to manage such tendencies.
Bien and Bien (2002) suggests that using self-awareness, a recovering adolescent could constantly check in with his or her thought or feelings then take preventive actions before relapse becomes imminent. Although cravings for particular drugs or substances often continue to arise during the recovery process, spirituality and mindfulness can help the individual to monitor their thoughts without getting carried away with them. Consequently, the recovery patients will learn that they do not have to be victims of their thoughts.
Another important benefit that can be derived from a holistic recovery approach involving the incorporation of spirituality and mindfulness in the recovery process of adolescents is improved internal peace and induced peace of mind. Generally, establishing connection with the higher power creates a feeling of hopefulness regarding the adulthood life alongside the strength to fight against substance abuse. This is particularly useful for adolescents because they often fail to understand their inner lives and the absence of self awareness normally results in constant worries about the future (Colistra et al., 2014).
Engagement in spiritual communities is also likely to fill social voids thus creating a sense of belonging and acceptance among peers. For instance, adolescents normally find it difficult to control their emotions and this is especially when they become addicted to drugs that numb their senses and slow and their minds. According to Parker (2003), practicing spirituality and mindfulness during the addiction recovery process can serve an important purpose of helping the affected individuals to feel more in control of their emotions and effectively deal with their highs and lows. Through increased understanding of the manner in which spirituality is crucial in recovery processes among adolescents, it is possible for the recovery patients to attain a full realization of the way to totally appreciate the effect of addiction on the lives of the suffering adolescent addict.
Reduction of relapse provoking stressors is another important benefit of spirituality and mindfulness. Many adolescents recovering from substance abuse often experiences a form of mental fuzziness as their minds adjust to life without the drug. At this time, their emotions may become erratic and failure to cope with these challenges may lead to relapse. However, spirituality and mindfulness is often a great tool in achieving emotional sobriety. According to many experts, adolescents undergoing recovery who practice spirituality and mindfulness are likely to be better able to develop a powerful cognitive behavioral coping strategy that helps them positively respond to various challenging events in their lives. As a result, spirituality and mindfulness is useful in enabling the affected adolescents under the recovery process to cope or reconnect with their emotions.
Lastly, when patients realize that there is a higher power where they can draw strength to overcome life’s challenges, they will begin to be more proactive and develop an inner fortitude against common relapse provoking stressors. A practitioner using mindfulness in a recovery process among adolescents is likely to feel a greater degree of self-acceptance plus lower level of stress rendering them better positioned to evade relapse (Bien and Bien, 2002). For example, most of those who incorporate the technique in their recovery process often find it much easier to manage their interpersonal relationships and this is critically important in avoiding relapse provoking stressors such as damaged relationships.
In summary, adolescent substance abuse remains an important focus for medical practitioners and treatment providers across the United States. As part of the current holistic treatment approach to the recovery process, spirituality and mindfulness offers a number of potential benefits that can complement the contemporary mainstream approaches used in addiction recovery process of adolescents.
References
Bien, T., & Bien, B. (2002). Mindful Recovery: A Spiritual Path to Healing from Addiction. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Colistra, A., Crite, C., Campbell, J., Brickner, A. (2014). Best Practices: Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Adolescents. Retrieved on June 16, 2014 from  http://www.phoenixcenter.org/mydocuments/colistra_crite_campbell_brickner_2014_article_43.pdf
Parker, J. (2003).Teaching with heart and Soul: Reflections on spirituality in Teacher Education. Journal of Teacher Education 54, 5, 376-385.