Dr. Pohl explains if spirituality-based recovery programs are helpful in treating drug addiction.
Treatment programs often incorporate a spiritual element. One might say, “Well, you know, you don’t treat cancer with spirituality. You don’t treat heart disease with spirituality,” although perhaps we should, but addiction is classically treated with some spiritual component.
My understanding on why that is, is that the brain, which is where addiction is lodged, has dysfunction in both the frontal lobe, which is the thinking, judging, remembering, moral part of the brain, and the drive center–the place where we are driven to do the things that keep us alive.
In drug addiction, the drug takes precedence over all the things that normally keep us alive. Consequently, we have to find something in the recovery process that’s going to sustain us when cravings come up for drugs, and one of the symptoms of drug addiction is craving.
So if higher power, not religion, not any particular version of higher power, you know, inner power–it’s all pretty synonymous to me. It’s just a power greater than just little old me. You know, even if it’s connecting with one other person or a group of people is a very effective way of dealing with addiction.
About Dr. Mel Pohl, M.D.:
Dr. Mel Pohl, M.D., is a Board Certified Family Practitioner. He is the Vice President of Medical Affairs and the Medical Director at the Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC), the only private, freestanding, medically managed inpatient detoxification and addiction treatment facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.