Addiction Affects the Body, Mind, and Spirit

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Addiction Affects the Body, Mind, and Spirit

As we learn more about addiction, we increasingly find that it involves a complex interaction of body, mind, and spirit. While addiction was once believed to be a moral failing, then was thought of as a physical disease, we now know the reality is much more complicated. The mind and body are connected in surprising ways. Treating addiction effectively means addressing the problem on all three levels.


When the house is on fire, the first thing to do is put out the fire. When drugs or alcohol are harming the body, the first thing to do is quit. Detox is the beginning of treatment and it is often physically stressful. Physical dependence is a major aspect of addiction and it’s the first thing that has to be overcome. Detoxing safely requires special care to minimize harm to the body, especially for people with medical conditions. Proper medical care during detox can minimize the danger involved in breaking physical dependence.

Proper medical care is also important throughout treatment and recovery. This is especially true of inpatient treatment, where residents may require medical attention for health issues related or unrelated to substance use. Since substance use increases your risk for many conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, liver damage, certain cancers, and malnutrition, it’s crucial to monitor these problems and provide care.

Physical health is not only about managing disease, but also restoring health. Positive lifestyle changes such as healthy diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep are crucial for restoring physical vitality and laying the foundation for a strong recovery.


Much of what drives addiction takes place in the mind. Fortunately, the mind can also be a valuable ally in managing addiction. The brain has amazing adaptive abilities. Even adults at any stage of life can physically change the structure of their brains by learning to think differently. That’s great news for anyone with a substance use disorder. There are many ways to engage the mind in addiction treatment. These might include processing trauma, learning new behavioral strategies for dealing with temptation, or learning to reframe the kind of negative self-talk that often leads to depression and anxiety. Education is also an important way to enlist the mind in fighting addiction. The better you understand how addiction works, the more you will be able to avoid common pitfalls.


Spirituality has long been an important part of addiction recovery. There are many ways to define it, but broadly speaking, spirituality is feeling connected to something bigger than yourself. It could be a Higher Power, a community, or a cause. Feeling connected is one of the best predictors of success in recovery. Mindfulness is a skill that connects the body, mind, and spirit. It is simply being aware and accepting reality as you find it.

Pinnacle Recovery specializes in inpatient rehabilitation, trauma recovery, AA programs and AA alternatives, experiential therapy, dual diagnosis, family therapy, co-occurring and dual diagnosis addictions. We also offer a wide range of sober living and intensive outpatient treatment programs. Call 1-866-301-0573 today for more information.

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