I have a large extended family. Several loved one's struggle with addiction or substance use disorders. It is heartbreaking to see a loved one's life destroyed by drugs. Over the years, I've observed that finding a rehab that “fits” can be a challenge. A faith based rehab is a viable option for many. If you struggle substance use disorders, a faith-based rehab facility may be a good fit. If a loved one struggles with addiction, be sure to explore all of the options.
Why Consider a Faith-Based Rehab
Faith-based rehabs have received a bad rap over the years for a couple of reasons. Reporting bias in our current culture lends to criticism. Faith-based rehab practices are often misunderstood. This can lead to them not even being considered. This is tragic for those who need them most. Especially when faith based recovery programs may be numerous in a given area. For instance, a large proportion of rehab centers in Dallas have some kind of faith-based aspect to them.
Faith Based Rehabs
The vast majority of faith-based rehabs do employ evidence-based approaches for treating substance use disorders. This includes cognitive-behavioral therapy among others. Likewise, there is evidence to suggest that these programs are just more effective overall. In fact, I've chatted with people who have graduated faith based recovery programs. Their recovery and sobriety stories are pretty amazing. I've even recommended local faith based drug rehab to family members. Some data shows faith-based approaches may also be effective if the treated individual already has some faith, to begin with.
Most Americans do ascribe to a “higher power”. As a Christian, mine is Jesus. It's true that religious belief has declined in America over the past few generations. That said, a 2019 survey by Pew Research found that 74% of Americans still identified themselves as religious. In 2020, Barna identified that only 1 in 4 Americans is a practicing Christian. That said, an estimated 65% of American adults surveyed identifying as Christian. That number is considerably higher in most places in the Bible Belt, where almost 90% consider themselves to be Christian.
Regardless of the illness, it’s important to use whatever approaches will work best for a particular patient. The evidence suggests that faith-based approaches can work quite well for people with an existing belief. A program should not be discounted just because it is faith based.
What do faith-based substance rehabs offer?
People who consider themselves religious will appreciate having their spiritual needs addressed during treatment. To be clear, not all faith-based rehabs are the same. They do not all even use the same religion or faith as a foundation for their approach. Most faith based rehabs will all incorporate some kind of spiritual aspect in the treatment.
Faith-based rehabs are just as likely as secular rehabs to offer standard treatments. Some conventional treatments you could expect may include:
- Withdrawal management
- Drug replacement therapy
- Group therapy
- Individual counseling
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Motivational therapy
- Professional or life-skills training
Faith-based rehabs will, of course, have some kind of spiritual aspect. You might expect the following:
- Daily prayers
- Spiritual guidance by a pastor/priest/rabbi/imam etc.
- Religious meditation
- Religious services
- Readings of the Bible or other religious texts
Faith based rehab programs can differ greatly. Some church supported rehabs also run secular programs to serve more people in their communities.
Are faith-based rehabs effective?
Different studies have shown that faith-based practices in rehabs can be effective. Moreover, this true for those who share the faith principles of the rehab. Understandably, programs may be less effective for those whose beliefs are antagonistic toward the beliefs taught in the program. It's important to know what faith values, if any, are taught by a particular program. Additionally, it is important for treatment providers to understand the beliefs of the individual in devising a treatment plan. Faith based practices can help curb self-destructive behaviors and thinking.
Faith-based rehabs are often part of a very strong support network and community. Communities and support from like-minded people contribute to the success of faith-based rehabs. These rehabs are also often able to connect recovering individuals to continuing care that share their values. They may also offer faith based professional development opportunities. This further help reinforce abstinence and a recovered lifestyle.
Find a faith-based treatment center near you
If you or a loved one are in need of a drug treatment program, be sure to explore the options. Your physician should be able to recommend a program. Local clergy can often recommend a faith based treatment center, as well. Directory services can also provide comprehensive lists of faith-based and secular rehab programs. These directories are often able to sort these programs according to their approaches, specialization, and more. If you have health insurance, services may be covered from specific providers.
Getting help for a substance use disorder is incredibly important. A qualified treatment specialist can perform full assessment and recommend treatment. And if you love an addict, know that there IS hope. I refuse to give up hope for the one's I love. I know that my Rock can redeem them, just as He has redeemed me.