Tag Archives: anthropomorphism

The Buddhism and Addiction Series (Part III of III)

PART III:

Religious Dilemmas and Spiritual Solutions

Religion as a Barrier to Recovery

At first glance, it would seem that gay men with substance use disorder would be ideally matched to AA for post-treatment recovery maintenance or aftercare.  As previously noted, gay men are especially vulnerable to the development of a narcissistic personality structure.  The philosophy of the AA program is that addiction is essentially a “disorder of the self” characterized by narcissistic traits.  The AA program is unique in that it addresses both the underlying pathological personality structure, and the substance use disorder, by way of spiritual transformation.  However, when spirituality gives way to overt religiosity – as it often does in AA – the program becomes inaccessible and exclusive, and more foreboding than welcoming.

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An Appeal for Pantheism

Current models of recovery emphasize a holistic approach to treatment in an effort to address all aspects of the disease of addiction which include the physical; the mental/emotional; and the spiritual components.  Treatment methods geared at promoting abstinence through cognitive/behavioral therapies are widely accepted as necessary and effective in recovery.  On the other hand, treatment approaches which also incorporate spiritual growth and development give rise to much controversy and confusion.

In recovery meetings, spirituality and religion are sometimes difficult to distinguish.

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