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What Is the Refuge Recovery Program?

Addiction and addiction recovery are both highly individual processes. Although two people may struggle with the same substance addiction, how the substance impacts their physical and psychological health will vary, sometimes significantly. Similarly, the challenges and struggles they face when they are ready to seek addiction treatment help to overcome their addiction are also often different. 

These differences in addiction treatment have led to a range of various treatment models. Research has proven that what works well for one person or group of people may be minimally or not at all beneficial for others. Some people find greater levels of comfort and success in programs that are gender-specific or specific to a particular demographic, career field, or history of military services. Others find programs based on spiritual roots provide the greatest opportunities for achieving lasting recovery. 

What Is the Refuge Recovery Program? 

The Refuge Recovery Program is a model of recovery therapy rooted in the core beliefs of Buddhist philosophy. According to the Northwest Dharma Association (NDA), Refuge recovery is meant to help those “affected by addiction recover from the pain they have experienced, to understand their suffering in the context of their new mindfulness, and to find compassion for their pain.” Refuge Recovery calls upon the Buddhist Four Noble Truths to help those struggling with addiction develop ways to overcome addiction.

While many addictions treatment and recovery plans are focused on medical and behavioral health solutions, Refuge Recovery places an additional level of focus on spirituality in addition to medical and behavioral treatment models. Buddhist recovery therapy programs focus on mindfulness and refocusing the mind on the “now” to overcome cravings and the focus on substance-seeking behavior. 

The Northwest Dharma Association (NDA) believes treatment therapies that are part of the Buddhist recovery philosophy should incorporate three factors: sitting together, discussing the Buddhist way, and practicing mindful listening. These programs are often successful because of the root elements of Buddhist teachings. Addiction itself is in total contrast to Buddhist ideals. It takes over the mind and leads to urges and cravings focused on substance seeking and using. Buddhism teaches individuals who struggle with addiction how to control their impulses through mindfulness and a focus on the here and now.

Additionally, Buddhist recovery requires practitioners to learn and practice critical components that are vital factors in ongoing recovery. These include acceptance, loving-kindness (of others), and self-love. Buddhist recovery believes that without self-love, it is impossible to truly attain and maintain lasting recovery. 

Mindfulness and meditation in the recovery process

Mindfulness and meditation are central practices in the Refuge Recovery program. They provide individuals with powerful tools for developing self-awareness, cultivating inner peace, and breaking free from the grip of addiction.

Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment with curiosity and non-judgment. It allows individuals to observe their thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations without becoming entangled in them. By developing this skill, individuals can gain insight into the underlying causes of their addiction and develop the capacity to make conscious choices that support their recovery.

Meditation is a formal practice of mindfulness that involves setting aside dedicated time for quiet reflection and inner stillness. It can take many forms, including sitting meditation, walking meditation, or guided meditation. Meditation provides individuals with an opportunity to cultivate a deep sense of calm and clarity, allowing them to develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their addiction.

The principles and philosophy of Refuge Recovery

At the core of Refuge Recovery is a set of principles and a philosophy rooted in Buddhist teachings. These principles are not exclusive to Buddhism; they resonate with individuals from all backgrounds and faiths. The program recognizes that addiction is a universal human condition and seeks to address it through a holistic approach.

Refuge Recovery embraces the belief that individuals have the capacity to heal themselves and find freedom from addiction. It encourages self-empowerment, self-reliance, and personal responsibility. By adopting a compassionate and non-judgmental stance, Refuge Recovery creates a safe and supportive environment for individuals to explore their addiction and begin the healing process.

Why Relevance Recovery Incorporates the Refuge Recovery Program into Our Treatment Plan

At Relevance Recovery, we understand addiction affects everyone in unique and different ways. For this reason, it is essential to provide a wide range of different treatment options. When you decide to seek sobriety at Relevance Recovery, our caring and compassionate treatment team will work with you to design a comprehensive treatment plan focused on your unique needs and goals. If you find comfort in the spiritual focus of the Refuge Recovery program, we will ensure it is part of your treatment model. 

At Relevance Recovery, we strive to provide each person who walks through our doors with a treatment program that will help them achieve sobriety and maintain lasting freedom from drugs and alcohol. We understand that addiction is a disease, and like any chronic illness, it requires treatment that addresses your physical, psychological, and spiritual needs. Each person has their own definition of what spiritual recovery looks like. If you would like to learn more about how incorporating the Refuge Recovery Program into your treatment plan may help you achieve lasting sobriety, contact us at Relevance Recovery today. 

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