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Substance Abuse National Services - Faith-Based Organizations in the USA

Spirituality and faith are at the center of many people’s lives within the United States, and it can be a powerful catalyst for change, especially for those who are battling drug and alcohol addiction. Persons with strong religious or spiritual faith and beliefs that are battling addiction, may not benefit from a secular drug and alcohol treatment program, as it may not be as effective. Faith-based drug and alcohol treatment centers operate all throughout the United States, and approach addiction from a spiritual point of view. Within these different treatment programs, spirituality is at the forefront of the rehabilitation model, and addicts can surrender their addiction to a higher power. As with any other type of drug rehab center, each faith-based program in the United States will operate slightly different from the next, but each program will utilize traditional or non-traditional treatment approaches along with spirituality. For anyone searching for a faith-based drug rehab center, it will be important to consider a few things, as there are different resources to help locate them and there is a variety of treatment options.

It will be important to match faith and values, and it will be important to find a center that will match your individual faith and personal values. Attending a drug rehab center who may be of a different faith, may not always be as beneficial for the addict, as it may conflict with your own individual spirituality and beliefs. It is also important to find a program that will meet the needs of an addict, and even if the facility does promote the same faith and spirituality; it may not meet all the needs of the addiction and other issues. Secular based programs are effective for those who do not belong to any particular denomination but want the spiritual component of treatment. Throughout the United States are many different secular drug rehab programs that do provide non-denominational spiritual services. When looking at faith-based drug rehab centers, it will be important to find a facility where both the therapeutic model and spiritual approach feels comfortable. The therapeutic model should align with the beliefs and philosophy of the client, and also meet his or her medical needs. Not every faith-based drug rehab center will have the same treatment options, and many will have a combination of detox, therapy or counseling, support groups, and medical support. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provide the Faith-Based Community Initiatives, which is a model for how effective partnerships can be created between federal programs and faith-based and community organizations. The faith-based and community initiatives with SAMHSA support several programs in mental health, substance abuse prevention, and addiction treatment at the national, state, and local levels. Since 1992, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration have supported faith-based and community organizations across the United States. The Community Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership Program does include more than 800 faith-based community partners. Through the states will be block and formula grant program funds for countless faith-based organizations who help people who are at risk for addiction. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration have supported training programs and curricula to support substance abuse prevention, addiction treatment, and educational materials for multi-denominational leaders of the faith community. They also help to create integrated and sustainable collaborations at the local level across the nation. SAMHSA, through a variety of different funding mechanisms does support programs such as mental health services, substance use prevention, and addiction treatment that is carried out by community and faith-based organizations at the national, state, and local levels. The Youth Violence Prevention programs help prevent youth violence and substance abuse and promote health youth development. There are a number of faith-based organizations, who receive these funds such as Catholic Charities, and the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation. This all helps promote community coalitions and partnerships to address youth violence and addiction, and representatives of the faith community play an important role in all of this.  

Adult and teen challenge programs are some of the more recognized faith-based drug treatment services within the United States. The Adult and Teen Challenge centers are situated all across the country and are holistic, long-term Christian residential drug rehab programs. The programs are well known, because they will work with a client for a minimum of one year. The adult and teen challenge programs focus on abstinence and recovery, while also providing a spiritual focus that will be designed to repair the individual’s behavior and motivations in his or her life. Intake into these programs is not automatic, and it will be determined based on the center's population and how motivated the person is to get help. The cost of treatment at an adult or teen challenge facility is often very little but may charge up to $2500 per month for everything while the client stays at the center. Adult and Teen Challenge programs, are, however, supported by the community, and the community and local businesses are generous due to how successful the program can be.  

One of the most well know faith-based treatment organizations in the United States is Alcoholics Anonymous, and the twelve-step model is one of the most commonly used treatment methodologies. It is estimated that over 76% of Americans identified as religious in 2015, and there are more than 350,000 religious congregations in the United States. Some research has shown a lower statistic of alcohol and drug abuse for those with religious and spiritual involvement. Many different types of faith-based drug rehab programs do operate throughout the nation, for most denominations and faiths. Some programs provide inpatient care, and others will offer outpatient services, and many of these programs are often more affordable. Some facilities will place more emphasis on faith than others, and there are different programs that practice different religions.


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Marcel Gemme

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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.