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Faith-Based Recovery Programs

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

April 1, 2024

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Recovering from alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder is a challenging journey for anyone, and today we’ll be examining the important role faith-based recovery programs can play for some.

Before we begin, if you need help immediately, please call our California rehab or Florida rehab programs at 866.330.9449.

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According to data from Pew Research Center, 77% of all adults in the US identify with some religious faith.

Regardless of the religion in question, many people grappling with addiction who consider themselves religious face additional stressors, specifically how their faith views those who abuse drugs or alcohol.

A study funded by NIAAA (the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) shows that roughly 4% of adults in the United States had substance use disorder in the previous year, amounting to 23 million people. Of this number, only 10% seek and obtain treatment.

With millions of people fighting back against addiction to drugs, prescription medications, and illicit drugs every year, addiction is not a moral, ethical, or spiritual failing.

According to SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), faith-based rehab can help people identifying as religious to connect with their higher power when engaging with addiction treatment.

For those looking for help for a drug or addiction problem, our sober living homes and Orange County rehab and detox can help you or your loved one get the treatment you need to overcome these issues.

Does faith really matter when it comes to addiction rehab, though?

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Is Faith Important for Rehab?

For some people, faith-based recovery programs, whether that’s Christian rehab programs or programs tailored to other religions, are the environment in which they feel most comfortable.

For others, even if they identify as religious, this component of addiction treatment is less important.

Fortunately, while a faith-based element of rehab can be beneficial and effective, it is always part of a comprehensive treatment plan incorporating medication-assisted treatment and/or psychotherapy like CBT. These treatments are delivered alongside holistic therapies for a whole-body approach to addiction, addressing the root cause and taking account of any co-occurring disorder. When you view the faith component through this wider lens, you can see that it’s a small but potentially valuable part of a greater whole.

Many people who engage with treatment for alcohol use disorder attend 12-step groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). Are these programs religious, though?

Despite misconceptions to the contrary, 12-step programs are not religious, but they are inspired by spiritual concepts and ideas. Rather than getting caught on the specifics of religion, instead 12-step programs focus on the broader faith-based ideas of humility, honesty, and repentance.

Although the steps do invoke a higher power several times, after the first mention there is the qualification “as you understand” that concept.

So, what is required to attend 12-step meetings is a desire to stop drinking rather than a religious requirement.

SMART recovery groups are loosely based on 12-step precepts, but they do not encourage submission to a higher power at all and are entirely secular.

Christian Rehab Program

A Christian alcohol rehab program or faith-based drug rehab program will address both your spiritual and medical needs with integrated and comprehensive treatment.

The spiritual component of treatment may be quite pronounced, but it’s vital that this is delivered alongside a robust evidence-based component. Medically supervised detox and medication-assisted treatment can help to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings, while psychological interventions like CBT and DBT can help throughout detox and ongoing recovery. Individual and group counseling sessions are also both invaluable.

Within a Christian rehab program, you’ll have access to certified spiritual advisers for guidance and counseling as you try to find peace through your faith.

In the same way as support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, faith-based rehab programs for an alcohol and drug addiction create a close-knit community of people undergoing broadly similar experiences. This can be powerfully motivating and comforting as you undergo the initial and most challenging phase of recovery.

Whether in one-to-one private conversations or in group meetings, you’ll have a chance to make powerful emotional connections and take advantage of a great deal of support on hand.

Within a faith-based program, you’ll find that spiritual discussion and reflection with like-minded religious peers can help empower you against the feelings of shame that may have pervaded your thoughts during detox. These kinds of negative thoughts can easily lead to relapse, so use the peer support at your fingertips to avoid this.

A Christian addiction treatment program will make it easy for you to incorporate worship into your recovery plan. Indeed, you can include it as a core component. You’ll have access to on-site spaces for religious services, as well as discussions and scripture readings.

How can you go about engaging with one of these faith-based treatment programs, though?

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Renaissance Recovery’s Faith-Based Rehab Program

You’ll find Christian treatment centers and faith-based recovery programs throughout the United States.

Perhaps the most direct route to locating relevant programs near you is to talk with Christian leaders in your community. Ministers and pastors may be able to recommend support groups that view faith as a pivotal component of successful substance abuse recovery.

You may also find a simple web search yields other local treatment centers that may not overtly advertise religious or spiritual affiliations, while nevertheless making provision for a spiritual component within their addiction treatment programming. Here at Renaissance Recovery, we appreciate the importance of a spiritual component to therapy in whatever way you perceive that. We also understand the benefit of allowing you to continue to grow spiritually during recovery while also having access to evidence-based therapies.

At Renaissance, these therapies include MAT (medication-assisted treatment), psychotherapies, holistic therapies, and vocational development programs. Contingency management can also work well, especially for the treatment of stimulant use disorder.

When these evidence-based treatments are delivered in tandem with the spiritual support of a faith-based rehab program here at Renaissance, you could find the positive effects of each treatment are compounded. To get started, reach out to admissions team at 866.330.9449 and learn more about faith-based recovery programs.



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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