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One Father’s Thoughts on Faith & Addiction

family at synagogue

A father shared the following thoughts with me:

… The Higher Power–Spirituality–God component of the addiction/recovery cycle is a remarkable, almost palpable element of this whole process. For the waiting family it can alternately be a source of peace and support or frustration and anger. For the addicted one it can also be both, but more: the light on the path, the life-saving rope or the guiding hand to pull them along. But, one must [first] admit the need for spiritual help – both the Loved One and the family.

I see for the family no real relief (the peace part will take a long time) without some level of detachment from their Loved One. That detachment requires a strengthening of their faith on some level, which, I think, in most cases is inevitable.

For the Loved One (addict), I see no true peace (in every way: sobriety, health, prosperity, etc.) without a development of, or a resurgence of, a spiritual belief.

Something to offset their self-centered focus.

Something to direct their recovery, develop their humility, open a sense of gratitude, expand self-worth, and realize the needs and value of others.

Well, at least it seems to me that the Higher Power concept can really fill in the missing pieces/gaps and lessen the continued struggle for some in recovery. I do wish my son would turn towards that Power.

Heartfelt words spoken by this father.  Relying on something greater than yourself can offer release. Release from the burden of what you’re carrying. Carrying the sole responsibility for your Loved One is heavy. Looking to a Higher Power provides hope. It leaves room for you to relinquish some of the control you’ve been holding onto.

If you don’t relate to the idea of God or spirituality, here is a basic strategy to try:

  • Let go of things you cannot control
  • Allow your Loved One to be responsible for their actions
  • The future is unknowable – trust that it will be okay (it doesn’t change the outcome but will make you feel a whole lot better)

For the Loved One: GOD can also stand for Good Orderly Direction. Find what makes you calm and centered and right with your world.



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)