The Effects of Spirituality on Substance Abuse Treatment

Various studies have indicated that there is a strong relationship between spirituality and medicine. These studies express that the majority of the US population believe in God and most of them believe that spiritual health is also as important as physical health (Anandarajah and Hight, 2001). Seventy-seven percent of the population also believes that a patient’s spiritual beliefs must form part of the patient’s treatment. However, a good percentage of these believers express that physicians rarely discuss their spiritual concerns with the patients and this has prevented the inclusion of personal spirituality into the patient’s lives (Anandarajah and Hight, 2001). Religious commitments have been known to prevent illness, including mental health affectations like depression and substance abuse. they have also been known to assist the patient in his recovery and in coping with his illness. Some studies were also able to discuss how elderly patients undergoing cardiac surgery who did not show strength or find comfort in their religion had a higher risk of death in the six-month period following their surgery (Anandarajah and Hight, 2001). Those who had more religiously commitments were twice as likely to survive longer after major surgeries with the strength and comfort of their religion playing a significant role in their lives. Relaxation and meditation are also highlighted as a crucial element of spirituality and when applied to the medical practice, it is known to relieve a person’s stress, causing less strain to the person’s overall physical and emotional well-being. It provides a placebo effect which eventually triggers a favorable frame of mind which can provide more tools for recovery and restoration. Among substance abuse person, spirituality is a very beneficial addition because it basically provides emotional support and guidance to the person, arming him with the necessary emotional and psychological tools for recovery. Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction requires a significant amount of willpower on the part of the patient.