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Faith-based treatment programs are a form of therapy that incorporates spiritual teachings into addiction recovery. Although addicts with a Christian background will likely benefit from this form of therapy, this is not to say others will not.
Faith-based treatment programs come in many different forms. These programs may be offered at a traditional rehabilitation center that offers inpatient and outpatient services – 12 step support programs being one example. Also smaller organizations, such as church congregations and clergy, may also offer outpatient faith-based addiction programs and counseling. Additional outpatient programs with a Christian-centered approach include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings. These forms of outpatient therapy are usually recommended for those who have already undergone treatment at an accredited inpatient treatment facility.
When a person believes in a higher power such as religion, their faith is important to them, it makes up who they are. Substance abuse can cause a person to temporarily lose sight of what is most important. Many are able to renew their strength and hope through a program that not only focuses on the physical effects of substance abuse, but also helps a person connect with their faith.
Even when struggling with addiction, faith is an important part of who a person is. Emphasizing God’s healing abilities can give encouragement and strength to a person wishing to become sober. Anyone who desires assistance in becoming sober with a faith-based emphasis can benefit from this form of treatment.
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A study published in the 2006 edition of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, compared faith-based treatment and traditional substance abuse programs. The study found that there are many similarities between the two program types in terms of activities, content, and structure. However, the faith-based programs incorporated different activities and structure to the day to incorporate time to devote to faith-based teachings, prayer, and possibly meditation.
One example of how a faith-based addiction program may help is by reading and studying the Bible. The Bible has many instances of when people have experienced struggles and overcame them with the love and support of God. These examples from the Bible can give a person hope and strength, which is a very important mindset for recovery.
While treatment facilities may vary in terms of their faith-based programs, there are usually many similar programs offered. Examples of some of these options include:
- Educating and discussing spiritual principles
- Building a relationship with a higher power
- Participating in daily religious study, prayer, or meditation
- Counseling about drug use and abuse
- Educating about drug addiction
- Educating about preventing relapse
- Participating in group therapy and/or religious studies
Faith-based programs often represent a combined approach. Treatment centers may offer their research-based offerings, such as education, counseling, and group therapy, with faith-based counseling and support. For those who utilize faith-based programs, the ability to connect with a higher power and feel support of like-minded individuals can make a significant difference in helping someone achieve sobriety.
12-step programs are those such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. True to their description, they feature 12 steps that a person works through to achieve sobriety. The 12 steps do have roots in the Christian faith. For example, step 2 of the 12 steps says, “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” The third step says, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
Although 12 step programs are not associated with a particular faith, they do incorporate many traditional religious practices. These include praying, meditating, confessing, and making reparations to others for their past wrongdoings. These 12-steps have helped thousands of people become sober. They can be a vital aspect of an addict’s recovery plan.
Faith-based or Christian treatment programs, especially when combined with traditional methods of addiction treatment, have many long-term benefits for those struggling with addiction. Explore your options for a faith centered approach and begin to uncover the best version of yourself.
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- Cambraia Windsor, L. (2006, February). Contrasting faith-based and traditional substance abuse treatment [PDF]. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.
Last updated on April 6th, 2017 at 09:20 pm