If you are a Christian who prefers a religious based treatment program — you have come to the right place. Research has shown that participating in religious activities, increases self-esteem, well-being, and a feeling of belonging. Faith-based recovery is a great option for religious people.
Spiritual beliefs and practices impacts addiction in three potential ways:
- A member of a certain religion may be less likely to engage in illicit drug use if that religion prohibits it
- Participation in a religious community may fill social voids. This gives a sense of belonging and acceptance
- Connection to a higher power provides a feeling of optimism and strength to resist substance use
With a combination of traditional drug rehab and a spiritual approach to addiction recovery, a faith-based recovery center can help those struggling with addiction find relief. It does this while supporting and strengthening their faith. For many, this combination leads to a better chance of full recovery.
The Philosophy Behind a Faith-Based Recovery Center
There are a variety of spiritual treatment tools and programs. However, given the Christian majority in the U.S., most faith-based treatment programs focus on Christian treatment methods. Though every program is different, faith-based recovery programs tend to share a few common techniques and goals.
One common factor is the way that the spiritual and religious elements are presented to those participating in addiction recovery. Programs with a focus on negativity, punishment and ritual, as well as extremely restrictive programs, have been found to be less effective than faith and spiritually based programs, with a focus on providing support and nurturing.
A religious recovery center is a drug facility that approaches the problem of addiction from a spiritual point of view. The leaders of these facilities believe that a person turns to addictive behavior to try to fill the void left by a lack of spirituality in his or her life. The theory behind these programs is that adding God or another higher power to the individual’s life will fill that void and remove the need for addictive behavior.
While each facility is structured slightly differently, most religious recovery facilities combine the teachings of their faith with traditional non-spiritual recovery methods. This combined approach can work well for those willing to get sober and able to embrace religious teachings. Treatment may include the following:
- Education on spiritual principles
- Development of a relationship with a higher power
- Participation in religious study, prayer or mediation
- Drug addiction education
- Drug counseling
- Help with detoxing through the withdrawal process
- Group therapy and religious studies
- Relapse-prevention training
Most faith-based rehab programs are designed for people who already practice a certain faith. For example, someone who embraces the Christian faith is likely to embrace a Bible-based recovery program. The goal of a program like this is to help individuals strengthen their relationship with Christ as they seek recovery. People who are not Christians who enroll in one of these programs will find that the staff will likely try to convert them. This could make someone practicing a different religion uncomfortable, therefore interfering with his or her recovery. If you are struggling with addiction and want a faith-based treatment option, it’s a good idea to look for one that embraces your religious beliefs.
Though each program is unique, they often share some commonalities, such as:
- Believing in God
- Practicing prayer
- Turning one’s will over to a higher power
- Creating a moral inventory of one’s self
- Admitting sins and transgressions to God
- Sharing sins and transgressions with others in the program
- Seeking forgiveness from those one has wronged due to addiction and substance abuse
- Attributing meaning to one’s life experiences
- Educating participants about spiritual principles
- Relying on Biblical principles
- Participating in a faith-based community
- Helping others overcome addiction
- Carrying the message to others suffering from addiction
- Drug addiction education and counseling
- Detox and guided withdrawal process
- Relapse prevention training and techniques
One thing that sets faith-based recovery programs apart from other programs is the fact that they often treat all addictive behaviors as things that can be cured with the help of religious faith. While drugs and alcohol are the most common addictions treated in these programs, you may also be able to get help if you struggle with other types of issues such as the following:
- Sexual addictions
- Food addictions or eating disorders
- Gambling addictions
Because the faith-based recovery center will view your addiction as an attempt to fill a spiritual void in your life, similar spiritual counseling will be used to provide support for these addictions.
Faith-based recovery programs both serve to treat addictions and to strengthen faith. Many Christian and Catholic addiction treatment programs are based on the assumption that individuals turn to drugs and alcohol in order to fill a gap in their life that’s caused by a lack of connection to God. By adding God or a higher power back into the individuals’s life, that gap will be filled, and the urge toward addictive behavior will be reduced.