Buddhist Drug And Alcohol Rehab Options And Beliefs
As is the case with all religions, practitioners of Buddhism sometimes suffer from addiction to drugs and alcohol. If this happens, experts agree that the best way to achieve and maintain long-term sobriety is to attend a treatment program where patients receive professional help and support. Luckily, there are many Buddhist drug and alcohol rehab options available, along with many other non-Buddhist programs that offer quality care and dedicated support to Buddhists seeking recovery.
An Overview Of Buddhism
Buddhism is an Eastern religion roughly 2,500 years old that is practiced all over the world. Siddhartha Gautama founded Buddhism and introduced meditation and renouncing worldly attachment as its core principles. The main principles of Buddhism also encourage enlightenment and mindfulness, which can transform the practitioner. Buddhism teaches that it is the practice of meditation that leads to nirvana. It also focuses on the importance of wisdom and meditation toward the path of enlightenment. Additional teachings relay the concept of impermanence—or the temporary nature of life—and detachment from fluctuating or rigid mental or emotional states. The end result is a greater understanding of the nature of consciousness, a tranquil perception, and awareness of the present moment.
Buddhism is a religion that promotes themes such as karma, reincarnation, compassion, and non-attachment.
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Buddhist Principles And Doctrines For Substance Abuse: The 4 Noble Truths And The Eightfold Path
Buddhism contain several principles that can help condition someone to abstain or reduce dependency on harmful chemicals. Like the 12 Steps, Buddhism’s spiritual concepts can help teach someone about deeper values and accountability. In understanding how cravings and attachment work in a Buddhist context, individuals can apply these principles to substance use disorders and consider this in addition to detox and medications in treatment. Two collections of doctrines used to reduce suffering include the 4 Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.
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The 4 Noble Truths
Based on Buddhism teachings, the 4 Noble Truths include:
1. Human life has a lot of suffering.
2. The cause of suffering is greed.
3. There is an end to suffering.
4. The way to end suffering is to follow the Middle Path.
The term dukkha represents suffering that is inevitable in humankind. To exist is to suffer, and it cannot be avoided.
Cravings (As A Source Of Dukkha)
We cause our suffering by craving and failing to be accountable. Oftentimes, we can blame others before taking accountability for our shortcomings and cravings. The Buddha believes the root of suffering is purely mental and clinging to things that hurt us.
Ending cravings starts with letting go of the things we are attached to. This can include unhealthy or healthy relationships and unhealthy substances, modes of thoughts, or habits. We can change our beliefs and the way we react to external events. Understanding that life is temporary can encourage us to release things which cause suffering.
The Eightfold Path
One way to escape suffering and gain enlightenment is through the Eightfold Path. This is a set of principles which encourage a Buddhist lifestyle that can produce peace, balance, and self-control. The Eightfold Path, sometimes called The Noble Eightfold Path, is as follows:
1. Right understanding and perfect vision
2. Right resolve or perfect emotion
3. Right speech or perfect speech
4. Right action or perfect action
5. Right livelihood or perfect livelihood
6. Right effort or perfect effort
7. Right mindfulness or perfect awareness
8. Right meditation or perfect Samadhi
Buddhist Attachment Theories And The 12 Steps
Attachment can manifest in trauma, self-destructive habits, or negative lifestyle practices. Buddhist non-attachment encourages peace of mind and self-preservation. Factoring the idea of non-attachment in alcohol or drugs with the awareness that meditation can bring peace is a powerful step in attaining positive change. Buddhism also mirrors spiritual themes in 12-Step programs such as embracing a higher power and taking control of one’s life. Life can range from relationships, to the relationship with one’s self and one’s habits.
For example, Step 1 of the 12 Steps Step 1 focuses on powerlessness and unmanageability. When one can truly understand and accept that their life has become unmanageable due to their substance use, and that due to this, they are powerless over the use of alcohol or other drugs, they can then commit to abstaining from the use of mood-altering substances. This relates to the principles in Buddhism about right understanding and viewpoint, right values and attitude, right mindfulness, right action and right work (among others). Understanding one is powerless can signal the suffering those battling withdrawals and cravings for harmful substances experience.
Common Questions About Rehab
Taking inventory of one’s thoughts, words, and actions bears a similarity to mindfulness. This is the act of practicing self-awareness and observing thoughts, usually in a meditative state, and allowing them to pass without attachment or judgement. Once individuals seeking recovery in treatment facilities gain exposure to such ideas, undergo traditional treatment methods, understand their relationship with drugs and alcohol, and meditate, true change can begin.
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Find Peace Through Buddhist Drug And Alcohol Rehab Today
Treating an addiction can bring several discouraging and difficult symptoms; shame, guilt, and a loss of control are a few common side effects. Thankfully, there are facilities available to assist you in overcoming substance abuse problems with themes of meditation, mindfulness, and faith-based 12-Step programs. Take charge of your future, and contact a treatment provider today.
Ashish Bhatt, MD, MRO
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Learn about Dr. Ashish Bhatt
Dr. Bhatt has been Addiction Center's Medical Content Director for more than three years, providing his expertise to ensure quality and accuracy.
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Expert in adult and child psychiatry
Over 20 years of professional experience