What is Christian Drug Rehab?

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Christian drug rehab is a medically based option for people to incorporate their spiritual beliefs into their recovery. People find comfort and strength in their spirituality, which can lead to treatment being more effective.

A Christian rehab and treatment center is much the same as traditional rehab, but it has the added component of spirituality. Treatment is science-based, but with the addition of Christian teachings.

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Christian Drug Treatment Programs

Christian rehab offers everything found in a traditional rehab program, including detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient program, aftercare, and more.

Patients participating in a Christian recovery program can expect medical supervision during detox which may or may not include medication. They will participate in one-on-one therapy with a counselor, as well as group therapy sessions with other spiritually-minded people recovering from an addiction. Family therapy is an important part of many Christian rehab programs, so patients should expect their closest loved ones to support them.

There might also be prayer meetings, spiritual counseling, and emotional guidance. Many Christian programs also include Bible study, attendance at church, and discussion of scripture.

Many people interested in participating in Christian rehab look for programs led by or supported by pastors who themselves are recovering addicts. This provides access to someone with a strong Christian faith who also understands the challenges of addiction recovery.

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Effectiveness of Faith-Based Addiction Treatment

A person’s religion can be an important part of his or her recovery from a substance use disorder (SUD). 

Most Christians believe their spirituality is an important part of their health and it would seem impossible for them to overcome a challenge like substance abuse without the support of their faith. They choose a Christian recovery center because they feel that secular programs are missing something important for them. 

Data shows that at least 50% of all people in recovery want to address their spirituality. 

Is Christian Rehab Effective?

Christian rehab is as effective as other rehab options, as long as the patient is open to recovery. Just as is the case with traditional rehab, patients without a desire to stop using drugs are less likely to be successful.

Christian rehab is especially beneficial to those with strong Christian faith because treatment incorporates their beliefs. These programs focus on interpersonal connectedness and compassion, and the teachings come directly from the Bible. Many patients find that sharing their recovery with other like-minded Christians helps them feel better about themselves. This leads to better long-term success.

This doesn’t mean that Christian rehab programs are better or more effective than secular programs or any other program type. But it does mean these programs are better for those looking for faith-based support.

Research has shown that a personal relationship with a higher power underscores quality-of-life issues in general and in recovery. This includes:

  • Self-acceptance
  • Sense of purpose even while struggling with addiction
  • Sense of well-being
  • Improved mental health

A person’s spirituality and belief in God affect their understanding of themselves and the world around them. There is also evidence that many people with severe mental illness (as much as 80 percent) report using religion to cope. For those with co-occurring disorders and a desire to pursue faith-based recovery, Christian drug rehab is especially effective.

Is Faith-Based Addiction Treatment Right For You?

Christian drug and alcohol rehab programs are ideal for people who are struggling with addiction and searching for treatment based on Christianity. These programs are faith-based and focus on Jesus Christ as a higher power. The concept of a higher power (God) is similar to most 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), but in Christian programs, the higher power is specifically Jesus Christ.

Despite the benefits of Christian rehab, it isn’t right for everyone. Some programs struggle to successfully integrate Christianity’s teachings with science-based treatment for drug addiction and co-occurring disorders. It is possible to do so, but it’s important to find a program that has a successful track record with the practice. 

Some research shows that Christian and spiritually based rehab is more effective than traditional programs. Patients might remain abstinent from using drugs, but they do not resolve the issues that drove them to drug addiction to begin with. Basic programs also do not address the stigma related to addiction. 

Many people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction need support dealing with feelings of shame and finding ways to flourish in their communities. The best Christian alcohol and drug rehab programs not only offer science-based addiction therapy, but they also help patients develop a sense of well-being, self-acceptance, and self-love.

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Resources +

Goldfarb, Lisa M., et al. “Medical Student and Patient Attitudes Toward Religion and Spirituality in the Recovery Process.” The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, vol. 22, no. 4, Jan. 1996, pp. 549–561, 10.3109/00952999609001680., https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8911592/

Galanter, Marc. “Spirituality and Recovery in 12-Step Programs: An Empirical Model.” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, vol. 33, no. 3, Oct. 2007, pp. 265–272, 10.1016/j.jsat.2007.04.016. Accessed 4 May 2019., https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17889297/

Hayes, Steven. “Acceptance, Mindfulness, and Science.” Clinical Psychology-Science and Practice, www.academia.edu/16743154/Acceptance_Mindfulness_and_Science. Accessed 30 Aug. 2020.

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