Christian Rehab Programs for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Christian rehab programs for drug and alcohol treatment are known as faith-based programs. Faith-based rehabs are grounded in the incorporation of spirituality into their treatment philosophies and methods. Secular elements, or non-religious components, are typically also part of such programs, and in many, are similar to addiction treatment components that can be found in non-faith-based programs. Programs that are specifically Christian in orientation are commonly known as Christian rehabs. They incorporate Christian concepts into their treatment and recovery methods and use such Christian practices as studying the Bible, applying principles of the Bible to everyday life, and using prayer.
Christian rehab philosophies consider God to be the primary healing force in treatment and recovery, and that only God can help us face the underlying causes of addiction such as fear and avoidance of life’s problems. Many in Christian rehab programs believe that the biological, emotional, social and behavioral problems of addiction are a result of spiritual disconnection and ‘spiritual bankruptcy’. However, they also believe that God can guide an addict to abstinence and health.
Christian Core Principles in Rehab
Core principles in a Christian rehab include the need to re-establish a relationship with God and Christ in order to heal from addiction and sustain recovery. These programs can be very effective for people who have had such beliefs and practices they felt beneficial in their lives prior to developing an addictive illness. For many others, previous Christian beliefs and practices may not have been a part of life prior to an addiction, but some seek out a Christian rehab because they feel a strong desire to adopt those principles and way of life, as well as to become sober.
The goals of a Christian rehab are essentially similar to any other drug and alcohol rehab program. That is, they seek to help residents overcome the use of addictive substances, establish a sustainable substance-free life and a healthy, meaningful life. However, a Christian-based rehab will have significant differences that will not be appropriate for everyone seeking addiction treatment and recovery. For example, Christian rehab programs base their methods upon such principles as a:
- Belief in God
- Belief that a personal relationship with Christ is essential for healing
- Belief that one must commit one’s life to God and Christ
- Belief that Bible study and prayer are essential parts of one’s daily experience
A Christian rehab typically also has a philosophy of the illness of addiction that is based upon the above beliefs. For example, addiction is commonly viewed as an absence of faith or the absence of a personal relationship with God and Christ. In this sense, addiction and its attendant pain are seen as a consequence of spiritual disconnection and emptiness accompanied by an attempt to fill one’s self up with substance use, for example. On the other hand, healing from an addiction in this framework is thought to require spiritual nourishment that only a strong Christian foundation can provide.
A Shared Experience with Others
If Christianity is important to you, one of the advantages of going to a Christian rehab is that you have an opportunity to work with others who share your beliefs and values. Not only will you be among like-minded peers attempting to recover, too, but among professionals who understand and share your beliefs and values as well. This provides you an immersive spiritual experience that many consider an invaluable, restorative and healing retreat from the despair of their problematic substance use. It can be a powerful place to reconnect to your religious beliefs at the same time you are learning to be substance-free.
You will find the same recovery tools that non-faith-based programs teach are also taught in most Christian rehabs. These can include techniques for increasing self-awareness, learning your triggers for substance use, managing stress, managing emotions, how to replace addictive thoughts, beliefs and behaviors with healthier ones, and how to establish and maintain a sobriety supportive social system. The most significant difference in a Christian rehab will be that these techniques and skills may be infused with the use of Christian principles. Even though they may not, efforts to align yourself with Christian principles will be a simultaneous component of your treatment.
An Addicted Christian’s Particular Needs
People with strong Christian beliefs who become addicted can experience a good deal of spiritual distress and conflict related to their substance use. They can, for example, feel they have not only failed their loved ones but also failed in their faith and even failed God. This leads to a great need for addressing issues like shame, guilt and self-loathing in counseling. Not only physical, mental and emotional health needs to be restored for these individuals, but also spiritual health that has become complicated by faith-related shame and guilt, and the felt need to seek God’s forgiveness.
Other particular needs for Christians who have become addicted include the need to re-integrate into a supportive Christian community as part of recovery efforts after treatment, and to make amends for addiction-related behavior that violated their spiritual principles. Post-rehab, many who receive treatment in a Christian rehab feel a need to seek reconciliation on many levels—with God, Christ, family, friends, and the community.
Seeking God’s Forgiveness
Seeking God’s forgiveness is a significant process for individuals in Christian rehabs. Many feel they walked away from a relationship with God when using substances even prior to developing an addiction. Addiction always brings an altered perception and alterations in behavior, interactions, emotional experiences, and spirituality. There are typically a great many things that are burdensome to people during this process that must be resolved. Re-establishing an active relationship with God and asking forgiveness are essential experiences for most people in a Christian rehab.
Feeling reconciled with God is one of the primary focuses of Christian treatment, and is a powerful healing component of their recovery process. Aligning with God is viewed as aligning with the healing force of God, the only true healing force. The process often continues after rehab as people find common values with others in 12 Step self-help groups or other such groups in which they may bring their Christian beliefs and values with them to use in further recovery.
Choosing a Christian Rehab
If your Christian faith is important to you and you have a substance problem, a Christian rehab may be the appropriate choice for you. In fact, you may find it more helpful to you than a non-faith-based program. However, many people with strong religious beliefs find what they need in non-religious rehab programs, too.
Choosing a rehab program is always a very personal choice, and many factors have to be considered. It is important to remember that not every Christian rehab is alike. Some may not provide medically supervised withdrawal and detox, for instance, or psychiatric services that some may need to simultaneously treat substance and mental health problems.
Just as you can find many variations of theological thought and religious practice within Christianity, you can also find a range of Christian rehabs with varying interpretations of the Christian faith. You will have to inquire about each program you consider what its particular belief concepts and practices are. Apart from the religious aspects, one must also consider if a particular program can:
- Treat the particular substance problem you have
- Provide the necessary medical supervision for withdrawal and detox
- Incorporate any significant others you want to participate in your treatment
- Provide the counseling and education you need to learn to get and remain sober
- Provide for any mental health services you may need for a co-occurring mental health problem
- Accommodate any physical needs you have
- Be within the parameters of your financial situation
If You or a Loved One Need Help
If you or a loved one needs help for problematic substance use, and want to explore the possibility of going to a Christian rehab, we can help you. It is important to get help from a program that you can feel comfortable in as you delve into the important issues in your life. It is also important to make sure the program you choose can support you not only in becoming substance-free but in becoming spiritually nourished and grounded in your faith as you do overcome your addiction.
There are many treatment options available that can meet your clinical and spiritual needs as well as your financial resources, as well as the needs of your loved ones to be close and involved. Many have recovered in Christian rehabs, and with the right help, recovery is always possible for you or your loved one. At Elite Rehab Placement, we can help you navigate the often overwhelming search for an appropriate treatment program. If you or your loved one is ready for a substance-free life, we can help get you to an effective program.
At Elite Rehab Placement, we offer a free consultation in which we help clarify your needs, and make recommendations for appropriate programs. We have assembled a large database of information about Christian rehab treatment programs, and can quickly find options that will work for you. We will also help clarify your insurance coverage. If you, or your loved one, need and want help in a faith-based Christian rehab program, give us a call today. Help is available, and your recovery in mind, body, spirit, and soul can be a reality. No matter how much you have used, or for how long, you can overcome an addiction. Also, if you feel a need to address your Christian faith with professional help as you are treated and recover, we can refer you to programs that will meet those needs as well.