How to Address the Spiritual Side of Addiction

Updated: Feb 16

Most people associate a spiritual approach to addiction with relying on a higher power for help. I do too, but based on my work with the spiritual side of life, I believe there’s another vital part of the addiction puzzle that most people miss.

Unfortunately, traditional drug and alcohol rehab doesn’t address it. I believe rehab success rates would dramatically improve if they did. If you or someone you know has unsuccessfully tried to kick a habit or treat an addiction, it may be time to consider the concept of spiritual attachments. I’ve found that those I’ve encountered who have a hard time quitting substance abuse almost always have them.

What are spiritual attachments?

Spiritual Attachments are negative words of affirmation that the addict has repeatedly told themselves or has been told by others. They have been badly scared by these cultivated thought patterns and mindset ingrained into them by the negative words of those they hold dear. Many addicts today believe they can't get over their addiction because of the words of family, friends or loved ones. They’ve attach meaning to those words, empowering them to stop their recovery.

Addicts can unknowingly carry huge amounts of negativity with them, causing them to get a fix. How do you know if you’re harboring spiritual attachments? One sign is a sudden urge to use drugs, alcohol, or smoke, when you haven’t used them for a long time or never have. Another sign is remembering negative things people have said to you, or hearing their voices or thinking thoughts urging you to use. Pay attention. You might notice that it wasn’t really your idea to smoke, drink, or use drugs.

Another sign of spirit attachments is a cynical reaction after reading about the phenomenon. If the aforementioned information triggered a negative emotional reaction, imparted negativity might be attempting to control your behavior.. Other signs include feeling blocked, personality changes while under the influence, inexpiable depression, anger, fear, and feeling drained.

The most common way people get spiritual attachments is through weakened self-esteem. This can be the result of constant verbal abuse from loved ones and authority figures. This can drive sufferers to excessive drug or alcohol use, extremely negative emotions, or illness. Always seek professional treatment if you can’t quit your addiction alone. The following are tools you can use before, during, or after treatment. If your willpower is strong enough to help you quit, the tools below might be enough to kick the habit for some addictions without traditional treatment. These also work for over-eating, excessive shopping, and any other habits you want to cure.

Spiritual Detox

In addition to releasing spiritual negativity, (which is easy to pick up, even for non-addicts), can also heal emotional scars. I’ve found that addiction is effective till you uncover and let go of the negative words associated with the addiction or habit.

Take Responsibility.

I agree that some people are more prone to addiction, but they also have their free will to take responsibility, seek help, and stay sober. Depicting addicts as helpless victims encourages them and others to avoid taking responsibility, empowering themselves, and kicking the habit for good. From the perspective of negativity, addicts created the problem by allowing the wrong people to influence their lives and now they need to resolve it. Addiction can be overcome with positive programming that changes your perception of the habit, and replaces vices with healthy habits. Regular listening to positive reinforcement, can be the wind beneath your wings, giving you an edge to conquer the habit once and for all.


Go inward and focus on yourself to overcome the stress and the urge to give in to your cravings. This trick will easily help you reach a meditative state when you feel a sudden urge to use. Try this: 1) Sit or lie down somewhere quiet and close your eyes. 2) Stare at your closed ear lids. Inhale and exhale slowly till you feel your body slowing down and the weight falling off. 3) Tell yourself that this urge is not your desire and you choice not to use. 4) Tell yourself that the negative words that want you to use are someone else's opinion of you and you don't believe those words to be the truth. Continue to repeat your favorite positive affirmation mantras to yourself till the urge subssides.

This exercise will help you detach from the urge to use. Deciding you want to quit is half the battle. Reaching your goal will be a challenge, but addressing the spiritual side of addiction will make it easier.


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