Information on Christian Faith-Based Drug Rehabilitation

Created On Tuesday, 12, January 2016
Modified On Friday, 17, September 2021

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Substance abuse impacts millions of Americans across the nation. Per the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, among people aged 12 or older in 2019, 60.1% used a substance in the past month. Approximately 50.8% had used alcohol, while 13% had used an illicit drug. Among the 20.4 million people aged 12 or older with a past year substance use disorder in 2019, 71.1% had an alcohol addiction. Unfortunately, only 1.5% of addicts received any substance use treatment, 1% received treatment at a specialty facility. Finding an appropriate drug and alcohol rehabilitation program is essential, and many facilities offer faith-based services and Christian-based substance use treatment centers.

Within the United States, according to Pew Research, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians. Someone addicted to drugs or alcohol may no longer embrace their faith and relationship with God. However, it is often the well-rounded treatment that helps an addict spiritually, mentally, and physically that is the most successful. Drug and alcohol abuse affects people of all demographics, regardless of class, gender, age, race, and religion. People are of the Christian faith are not immune to addiction. Christianity is one of the most practiced religions globally, and there are many denominations within the Christian faith. Christian specific substance abuse treatment programs provide a safe environment for each denomination to treat their addictions while surrounded by others of similar faith.

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Many of the modern addiction treatment facilities within the nation incorporate religion and spirituality. The most recognized form of Christian faith-based treatment is the 12-step program, which is rooted in a belief in a higher power. Christian faith-based rehabilitation includes inpatient, outpatient, long-term and short-term programs. Various behavioral counseling and non-traditional approaches are incorporated, but the program revolves around the Christian faith. There is a strong focus on the bible and incorporated faith-based practices. Also, evidence-based clinical methods such as detox and individualized therapy, group therapy, and other approaches.

Christian-based substance abuse treatment programs help clients restore their faith and relationship with God while healing from their addiction. Typically, a Christian based addiction treatment center includes bible study, 12-step groups, scripture readings, sermons discussing addiction and the Christian faith, daily prayer, church service, and pastoral counseling. Also, these programs incorporate individual therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, life skills courses, relapse prevention, co-occurring disorder treatment, and family counseling. Overall, the purpose of the program is to incorporate spiritual teachings, awareness, helping clients reconnect with God.

The Benefits of Effectiveness of Christian Faith-Based Substance Use Rehabilitation

According to an article in the Journal of Religion and Health, a study reviews empirical evidence on faith's contribution to preventing people from becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol and or recovering from addiction. Per the study, 73% of addiction treatment programs in the United States include a spirituality-based element. Also, approximately 84% of scientific studies show that faith is a positive factor in addiction prevention or recovery. The journal article defines spirituality as an openness to God, nature, or the universe where one can experiences harmony with truth, feelings of love, hope, and compassion, inspiration, or enlightenment with a sense of meaning and purpose in life.

There are many inherent benefits of attending a Christian-based substance abuse treatment program. One of the most significant benefits is the fellowship it fosters between like-minded spiritual individuals. Unfortunately, addiction isolates people from their church, family, and friends. Still, a Christian drug rehab center places a high value on providing an environment that helps people reconnect with everything good they have lost. Incorporating your Christian faith into your treatment also helps strengthen motivation and hope for the future.

The overall goal is to treat the entire person and not just the psychological and physical aspects of addiction. Clients learn to lean on Christianity to help them cope and resist triggers that could fuel a relapse. More importantly, they become reconnected with God and learn to share their life with him. Introducing people to the love of God is the primary focus of Christian substance abuse treatment centers. Instead of feeling hopeless and lost, the healing power of God's unconditional love offers forgiveness, grace, and hope. Finally, Christian treatment centers are more affordable because many of them are non-profit organizations or are affiliated with congregations that give donations. Non-profit organizations are usually in a better position to help families in need and provide more affordable options for treatment.

When is Christian-Based Substance Abuse Treatment the Best Option?

Christian faith-based drug rehabilitation programs are excellent options for anyone wanting to regain their faith and connection with God and treat their addiction. Substance abuse and addiction remove so much from a person's life, such as your spirituality. Overall, the rehabilitation process is the same and begins with an initial assessment to determine the extent of addiction and what programs are available. An addiction assessment benefits the addict and family and could be done over the phone or in-person. Following an assessment, the first step in treatment is detox, and typically the severity of addiction and withdrawal symptoms determine what method of detox is needed.

There are two common types of detox, which is medical detox and conventional detox. Medically supervised detox manages severe addiction and dependence, such as with opioids, alcohol, and most prescription drugs. Withdrawal management typically used medication to control withdrawal symptoms and allow an easier transition into treatment. Conventional detox programs manage most street drug addiction without the use of medication. Detox is essential, and it cannot be avoided, and it should not be considered the only approach to treatment.

The next phase of rehabilitation involves attending an inpatient or outpatient drug rehabilitation program. Like with detox, the severity and extent of addiction determine if residential or outpatient treatment is needed and whether it should be long-term or short-term. Long-term substance use treatment usually lasts three to six months or longer, where short-term programs provide services for three to six weeks. Christian treatment programs incorporate spiritual teaching and counseling methods to help each patient.

Christian faith-based treatment is an option for those who are looking for a Christ-centered sober living arrangement. Following the completion of treatment, many sober living homes provide faith-based services to help recovering addicts. The faith-based support within the treatment center is designed to help a person grow spiritually and develop a stronger relationship with God. Additionally, Christian mentors are essential and bridge the gap from addiction to recovery. Christian-based rehabilitation provides access to mentors who share the same beliefs and who serve as role models and coaches.

How do Christian Drug Rehabilitation Programs Operate?

Christian faith-based rehabilitation programs help those who have lost their way by promoting faith in Christ. Most programs provide every level of treatment from detox, outpatient care, and residential programs. Rehabilitation centers provide treatment for drug addiction and alcohol abuse. Along with this are pastoral counseling, church service, and opportunities to build relationships with clergy members at some churches. Christian faith-based rehabilitation centers use evidence-based treatment with spiritual support through religious teachings.

According to a research paper written titled Faith-Based Programs in the Treatment of Substance Abuse, spirituality in recovery was birthed out of the writings for Alcoholics Anonymous. The author states in the research paper, "Faith based programs provide a place for addicted individuals to either come to embrace a newfound spirituality through religion or to practice their religious beliefs without the fear of the stigma that might be felt in traditional worship services" (p. 12 Benefits of Religion in Recovery).

Christian faith-based rehabilitation programs guide each patient to develop a deeper relationship with God and teach spiritual principles that help a person recover. Also, programs focus on group and individual religious activities like meditation and the study and scripture. Many of these programs also incorporate tenets of the 12 steps and other forms of counseling and support. These programs benefit people from all age groups, young and old. According to an article in Science Daily, religious youths are less likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol.

A study that was done with 195 juvenile offenders found that young people who connect to a higher power may feel a greater sense of purpose and are less likely to be bothered by feelings of not fitting in. Some of the possible reasons why adolescents opt not to experiment with drugs are religious instruction, support from congregations, or a conviction that using alcohol or drugs violates their religious beliefs.

Are there Alternatives to Christian Substance Abuse Treatment?

Alternatives to faith-based rehabilitation are non-spiritual alcohol and drug treatment programs. Sometimes there is a common misconception that someone has to believe in a higher power to achieve sobriety, which is not the case. Twelve-step programs and Alcoholics Anonymous are some of the most well-known recovery programs. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs work, and one form of treatment is not the best approach for every person.

There are many different treatment options available to help people stop using drugs and alcohol. There are also many self-help and mutual support groups available that do not use the 12-step. Across the United States are thousands of different drug and alcohol treatment centers. Many facilities use cognitive-behavioral therapies and methods of individual counseling and other secular methods of evidence-based addiction treatment. The rehabilitation process is the same, and it begins with detox, followed by therapy and aftercare support. The only difference is the programs are not based on spirituality or religion.

Common Terminology with Christian Faith-Based Substance Use Treatment

Term Definition
Faith-Based Drug Rehabilitation these are rehabilitation programs that address a recovering addict's medical and spiritual needs. Programs are based on a branch of religion incorporating religious teachings and support into treatment. The rehabilitation process focuses on the mind, body, and spirit.
Non-Spiritual Drug Rehabilitation these are non-faith based or non-religious based rehabilitation programs that provide a similar rehabilitation process as a faith-based program but are not incorporating spirituality into treatment.
Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Christian teachings and support are part of the rehabilitation process and help a drug-addicted individual become close to God and incorporate spirituality into treatment.
Religion human beings relation to that which they regard as holy, sacred, absolute, divine, or worth of especial reverence. Also, it is a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, and ethics. Religious teachings are part of the Christian-faith based substance use rehabilitation programs.
Spirituality Someone who follows Christianity is likely spiritual, and it has to with having a sense of peace and purpose. Also, it is related to the process of developing beliefs around the meaning of life and connection with others. In Christianity, it is the relationship with God and Jesus of Nazareth.
Twelve-Step Drug Treatment these are programs, which are mutual aid organizations for the purpose of recovery from substance abuse, behavioral addictions, and compulsions. The 12-step was developed in the 1930s and became Alcoholics Anonymous helping people overcome alcoholism.
Alcoholics Anonymous is an international mutual aid fellowship with the stated purpose of enabling its members to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety. The program is nonprofessional, self-supporting, and apolitical; its only membership requirement is a desire to stop drinking.
Scripture the sacred writings of Christianity contained in the Bible. Scripture is read and applied within a Christian faith-based rehabilitation program.
Spiritual Meditation is an experience that takes you to the depths of who you are. In the process, you experience joy and peace, and a feeling of love and light warms up your being. Spiritual meditation helps someone in a Christian rehab program strengthen their connection with God.
Pastoral Counseling is a form or branch of counseling in which psychologically trained ministers or priests provide therapy services. Christian faith-based rehabilitation programs provide pastoral counseling to those struggling with addiction.

CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ARTICLE

Marcel Gemme, DATS - Author

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people. He is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist graduate with Honours of Stratford Career Institute. Marcel has also received a certificate from Harvard for completing a course entitled The Opioid Crisis in America and a certificate from The University of Adelaide for completing a course entitled AddictionX: Managing Addiction: A Framework for Succesful Treatment.


Michael Leach, CCMA - Medically Reviewed on September 17, 2021

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Michael Leach is a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, who has over 5 years of experience working in the field of addiction. He spent his career working under the board-certified Addictionologist Dr. Rohit Adi. His experience includes working with families during their loved one’s stay in treatment, helping those with substance abuse issues find treatment, and teaching life skills to patients in a recovery atmosphere. Though he has worked in many different areas of rehabilitation, the majority of his time was spent working one on one with patients who were actively withdrawing from drugs. Withdrawal and the fear of going through it is one biggest reason why an addict continues to use and can be the most difficult part of the rehabilitation process. His experience in the withdrawal atmosphere has taught him that regardless of what approach a person takes to get off drugs, there are always mental and emotional obstacles that need to be overcome. He believes having someone there to help a person through these obstacles can make all the difference during the withdrawal process.