What Type of Daily Spiritual Experiences Could a Teen Have in Addiction Recovery?

Spirituality is more than just connecting with God or a Higher Power. A lot of it also involves finding one’s purpose in the world, doing good for others, learning how to cope with difficult circumstances and feelings in healthy ways and more. Teens are so vulnerable to negative outside influences, and the spiritual component of addiction recovery can really help them find some grounding amidst the chaos.

Sometimes, spiritual components that are involved in 12-Step programs and similar services actually help teens develop a stronger sense of spirituality, even if they didn’t have one before; for example, a study published in Alcohol Treatment Quarterly assessed 195 adolescents court-referred to residential treatment. Forty percent of these teens who identified as agnostic or atheist left residential treatment identifying as spiritual or religious upon leaving. Why is this? Because teens are likely to experience so many heart filling, transformative, mind-altering moments in recovery, such as:

Learning more about what it means to be on this Earth.

  • Finding out how our actions impact the people we love and others around us
  • Recognizing how what we do affects our mind, body and spirit
  • Reducing this need to please ourselves, and finding more happiness in helping other people

Teens in the study were found to be more prosocial and were less narcissistic overall. They had greater likelihoods of abstinence, and this is probably because they felt more stable in their journey to recovery. Painter, teacher, mother and author of the novel April & Oliver Tess Callahan described the notion of addiction and spirituality as this: “Addiction is just a way of trying to get at something else. Something bigger. Call it transcendence if you want, but it’s like a rat in a maze. We all want the same thing. We all have this hole.”

Spirituality helps fill that hole. It gives ourselves and our teens, and others in addiction recovery a new chance at becoming better people – for ourselves, and for others.

Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program located in Kingston Springs that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966 and is located in Nashville, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998