Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Help Header

How Do I Overcome My Addictions if I Don't Believe in God?

I’m in the early stages of trying to fight what feels like almost a life-long battle with drugs and alcohol. I’ve done a fair bit of research and reading, and even attended the odd AA and NA meeting.

There they talk a lot about turning your life over to a Higher Power in order to overcome your addictions successfully. It’s a fundamental part of the 12 step process in fact.

Problem is, what if you have an issue around believing or accepting anything to do with a Higher Power? I’m an atheist and don’t believe whatsoever in God, so how do I circumvent this obstacle in my attempt at sobriety?


It’s an interesting question. I think the word ‘God’ itself conjures all sorts of emotional connotations depending on your beliefs and value system that I wouldn’t get too hung up on it. And that’s why the 12 steps refer instead to a High Power, of your choosing, so that you don’t get stuck on that particular point.

So I think you need to stop thinking of God in the way you currently do, but instead try and create a Higher Power for yourself that you can relate to, whether it be as an energy, nature, the universe, or even nothingness ...even if you don’t necessarily believe it.

Because the real power in this I believe isn’t in the Higher Power you believe in or have chosen – but the ability to surrender and realise you are powerless to control your addiction – and so by consciously making the decision to just let go and stop fighting, you allow the process of change and healing to begin.

You have to get out of your own way first before any progress can be made. Realising you are powerless and letting go is the secret to doing that. And when you’ve done that successfully, you usually reach the point that this famous parable refers to: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” And that’s when your recovery really begins to take off.

Best of luck and take care

Comments for How Do I Overcome My Addictions if I Don't Believe in God?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Come on
by: kennyk

You are god of your body, your life, and what you do with it is entirely up to you. I am a devout atheist, and started my recovery shortly after getting into richard dawkins and christopher hitchens. i never once prayed or expected some god to bail me out, and if you do than you dont stand a chance. Think of your family, people you love, and how your addiction runs every aspect of your life. Take it back, and stand for something. Life is stunning once you realize your human potential, everything gets so much better, if you are willing to fight for it. Best of luck

Letting go is not easy
by: Anonymous

Funnily enough, I've actually been experimenting with letting go and trying to surrender. It isn't easy. But I suppose the more I practice the better I'll get. I enjoy nature and feel at peace there, so maybe I'll use that as my Higher Power. Anyway, some nice suggestions, thanks!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Drug and Alcohol Addiction Questions.


FREE E-Course

"10 Essential Steps to Ending a Life of Alcoholism or Drug Addiction ... Permanently!"

This Course is packed full of valuable information and advice for overcoming addiction that you're unlikely to find anywhere else.

And if you subscribe now - we'll throw in a Special eBook that will help immensely in your struggle against addiction.

Don't worry - your e-mail
address is totally secure.
Your details will NEVER be sold and you will NOT be spammed.

What is this?
Add to My Yahoo!
My MSN RSS button
Add to Google

Copyright © 2013 - - All Rights Reserved.