Faith Based Addiction Treatment–Is it for You?

Faith-based addiction treatment isn’t for everyone, and with the large variety of specialized programs available today, we can say the same about any rehab facility. All rehabs, like all people, simply are not the same and in fact, some are dramatically different because they specialize in meeting specific needs. For example, there are gender specific rehabs, those that provide holistic services, 12 Step based programs and those that incorporate specific religious beliefs such as Christianity into their programs.

It is important that you understand the orientation and treatment philosophy of any rehab you consider. If it’s not right for you or your loved one, your treatment stay can be a waste. A worst case scenario is that you find yourself so uncomfortable, or even so much at odds with the treatment staff, that you can’t focus on the work you need to get done in order to be well. There’s already plenty of work to do in rehab so you can have the life you want and deserve in the best of circumstances. You shouldn’t put yourself in a problematic situation with an ill-considered choice, or fight the wrong approach to treatment for you during a rehab stay.

Even if Faith is Important You Still May Opt Out

If spirituality or religious faith is important to you or your loved one, a faith-based treatment program may be the perfect solution. However, many people who do have strong faith, and who participate regularly in a faith community, do not opt for faith-based treatment. There are several possible reasons for this. Some of them are:

  • You want or need other amenities that a faith-based program available to you doesn’t provide. For example, you may need to stay in contact with your business during treatment, have increased privacy, or may want to incorporate holistic treatment into your rehab experience. While some faith-based programs do provide these things, all do not.
  • You may feel that your spiritual needs are well met and you do not need such a focus during rehab.
  • Your faith-based options may not provide the treatment specialties you need such as dual diagnosis treatment.
  • Your financial situation may exclude a faith-based program.

Reasons to Choose a Faith Based Treatment Center

People choose a faith-based addiction treatment center for a variety of reasons that you or your addicted loved one might share. Some of these are:

  • A desire to view and process addiction, treatment and recovery in spiritual or religious terms.
  • A desire to be with others who share similar beliefs and hold similar values.
  • The felt need to resolve faith issues that arose during active addiction.
  • The desire to incorporate faith-related issues into your daily experience during treatment.

Common Addiction Related Faith Issues

Almost everyone who goes through active addiction will experience a degree of shame and guilt because addiction can take us to personal lows in which we violate our own standards and those of our most deeply held beliefs. ‘Hitting bottom’ isn’t just about becoming physically or emotionally ill with substance use. We can also hit a spiritual ‘bottom’ when using. In fact, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (12 and 12) of Alcoholics Anonymous state on p. 107 that in recovery:  we commenced to search out the things in ourselves which had brought us to physical, moral, and spiritual bankruptcy.

Another faith-related issue that frequently surfaces for those seeking addiction treatment is a loss of faith or an ambivalence about faith. The AA ‘Big Book’ addresses this in several ways. The following quote suggests a simple, but powerfully reasonable way to consider faith vs. lack of faith. It comes from p. 49 in the chapter called “We Agnostics”:   We used to amuse ourselves by cynically dissecting spiritual beliefs and practices when we might have observed that many spiritually-minded persons of all races, colors, and creeds were demonstrating a degree of stability, happiness, and usefulness which we should have sought ourselves.

Yet another faith-related issue discussed in the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous is the problem of having beliefs that are not enlivened. Active addiction robs many of their previous and daily life in faith. Restoring this experience is as important to many as restoring physical health. As AA’s ‘Big Book’ says in the chapter “Into Action” on p. 75: In recovery we find that we … may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. 

Of course, there are many more spiritual and/or religious issues that surface in addiction and in addiction treatment and recovery. Also, there are many more references and in-depth discussions of spiritual matters in the literature of AA and other 12 Step programs that are based on the principles of AA. While the specifics of such issues are very personal and can be very individualized, the overall theme of such difficulties is a sense of disconnection from meaningfulness and purpose. A spiritual crisis will typically involve a loss of both that can be experienced as hopelessness, alienation, despair, emptiness, and disconnection from others, the world, God, and even one’s self.

Getting Back to What Matters

Getting back to what matters is what treatment and recovery from addiction are all about. In fact, the word recovery itself says as much. We lost things, others, ourselves and perhaps our faith and even God in active addiction, but as we get better, we recover or reclaim our lives. Addiction treatment and all the rest of our recovery efforts after rehab are truly recovery missions. We seek out the important things in life and then sustain a life that allows us to keep them firmly grounded in our daily experiences. For many of us, faith is a core aspect of what needs to be recovered, reclaimed and re-established in the center of our lives after active addiction.

A faith-based treatment program can give you a complete recovery experience if you are a person of faith, or once were and want to be again. Along with mainstream treatment services you’d find in other programs, you’ll have the additional focus upon spiritual matters that is understood, encouraged and supported by the environment you are in. For those who have experienced the emptiness and meaninglessness that inevitably arises in addiction, a therapeutic environment that is steeped in spirituality can be comforting, refreshing and restorative.

What to Expect in a Faith Based Addiction Treatment Program

You or your addicted loved one can expect a great many positive things from the right faith-based addiction treatment program. Most fundamentally, you can expect an opportunity to not only reclaim your physical and mental health but also to reclaim your spiritual health. There are no guarantees in any type of rehab program that you will actually succeed–not because you can’t, but possibly because you don’t do your part for one reason or another.

Recovery isn’t something that happens to you, or that is bestowed upon you simply because you enter a treatment program and stay a certain prescribed amount of time. Recovery is a product of your willingness, commitment, and stick-to-it-tiveness. Recovery happens when you get into action and stay the course. If you are open and honest, and willing to put into action what you learn, you, too, like countless others, can get well and stay well. In a faith-based addiction treatment program, you can expect to be taught skills and given resources, as well as suggestions, for how to recover. What you do with all that is up to you. Among the other things you can expect in a faith based rehab are:

  • Withdrawal and detox from substances used.
  • Individual therapy in which you explore issues in a one on one relationship with a trained, faith-based counselor.
  • Group therapy in which you share with others pursuing a faith-based recovery.
  • Family therapy in which you and your loved ones find your ways to healing and restored relationships.
  • Educational modalities in which you learn about addiction and recovery.
  • Skill building modalities in which you learn relapse prevention strategies, emotion management, stress management, and healthier life coping strategies.
  • Professional and peer support.
  • Opportunities for prayer, meditation, sharing, and study.
  • Discharge planning in which your transition out of rehab is planned to best ease you into your new substance-free life.
  • Aftercare planning in which you establish your follow-up care to support you during the critical early recovery phase.

Recover and Reclaim Your Life and Faith after Addiction

Recovery awaits you, and though it may seem an insurmountable task from where you stand right now, it isn’t. Recovery is possible, and there is hope for you. You can successfully find your way to an appropriate faith-based addiction program, or you can successfully help your addicted loved one do the same. Sure, it can be an overwhelming undertaking. Making the decision to address a life crisis always feels that way.

To add another layer of burden, there’s a great deal of information out there about addiction treatment to wade through when you or your loved one has finally made the decision to get help. And, to be honest, it’s difficult to get a good idea of what a rehab center is really like from a website, brochure or phone call. However, Elite Rehab Placement can help you find appropriate options to meet the needs for treatment that you or a loved one have. A call to Elite Rehab Placement will dramatically accelerate your search and lessen the stress of getting from a decision to get help to the help you need. Call today to speak with a trained counselor who has a wealth of information about programs at hand.