The vast majority of solutions for drug and alcohol addiction contain a spiritual component to them. This flows naturally from the fact that drug addiction disconnects people spiritually, and restoring this facet of our lives in recovery tends to produce very good long term results. The power of spiritual transformation has proven to be an effective remedy for overcoming addiction, though it is not necessarily easy to attain.
Traditional recovery programs set up a spiritual path based on a core set of principles, but all of these principles can be found within Christian teachings as well. So it stands to reason that some addicts and alcoholics will prefer a religious path rather than the “stripped down, spiritual version.” Neither one is necessarily better than other, and both can be effective depending on the person. Christian based rehabs may have something to offer the struggling addict who has continuously failed in other programs.
An Alternative to Traditional Addiction Treatment
Some drug addicts and alcoholics do not respond well to traditional recovery, such as 12 step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. For whatever reason, there is a very large population of struggling addicts who simply cannot make these traditional programs work for themselves. In such cases, the struggling addict might do well to take the advice often heard around the tables of 12 step meetings and “try something different in order to get different results.” One such alternative is Christian drug rehab.
Most do not purposely exclude 12 step recovery, but most of them do not actively advocate for it either. They are usually pretty neutral about 12 step groups, but of course they will always bring it back to the core message that “all things are possibly through God,” and of course this message works well for some addicts. There is no doubt that religious based programs do work well for some people, though of course they are not for everyone.
Interestingly, it can be difficult to predict who will do well in these programs. This is evidenced by the fact that many addicts and alcoholics who were essentially forced into a Christian drug treatment center ended up doing quite well in the problem and making a huge change in their life. On the other hand, people who might have a strong religious background might insist on a Christian facility, but end up doing poorly there and eventually finding success in a spiritual based program such as AA. So it is difficult to predict who will respond well to Christian rehabilitation.
Obviously, someone who is open minded about attending a religious based treatment program is going to do a better than someone who is dead set against it. But it is surprising the number of addicts who have changed their tune after being admitted to a residential Christian rehab. A little bit of willingness can go a long way in recovery, and the methodology and the exact treatment strategies seem to matter very little. Success in recovery is 99 percent applied knowledge. The secret is not so much in the treatment program itself, but rather in the willingness of the participants and their ability to take action and follow through on things.
In other words, Christian rehab is not so different from traditional recovery programs, especially when we get down to the basic mechanics of long term sobriety. Holistic health, meditation, seeking guidance and help through prayer, seeking help from others, helping other people–these are central themes to any recovery program, whether it is religious based or otherwise.
A Belief System
Obviously, willingness is a huge key to changing our belief structure. But the question remains: can changing our underlying beliefs really affect our daily thoughts, actions, and behaviors?
Certainly it can if the addict is willing to pursue a new way of living with passion and enthusiasm. Anyone who chooses a Christian solution for recovery is going to be successful so long as they devote a supreme effort to the program. Making only half an effort in any program is bound to produce relapse. Only those addicts who immerse themselves fully in a Christian program are going to reap the benefits of lasting recovery.
In order to really change our thoughts and behaviors, this new way of life must become fully ingrained in us. It does no good to talk a good program or preach about these new changes if they are not being implemented in the addict’s life every single day. Therefore, many Christian programs are long term facilities that have a strong emphasis on applied principles and the transition to healthy living. Instead of focusing on relapse prevention tactics or group therapy, the emphasis is on daily living and doing good works throughout our daily lives. This unique approach is not necessarily better or worse than traditional recovery programs, but it might be better suited for different types of drug addicts. Therefore, it makes sense for a struggling addict to stay open to the possibility of different types of treatment. The question is who needs Christian rehab?
Is It the Answer?
Ultimately, this is what success in Christian rehab comes down to: Is the addict ready to fully accept a Christian way of life? If they are not, then treatment should be sought through other means, which is not hard to do as the vast majority of treatment centers are not religious based. But on the other hand, if nothing else has worked for the addict or alcoholic thus far, then becoming open minded and willing towards a Christian outpatient treatment program could be the answer they have been looking for.
Choosing the Right Rehab Methodology
Some Christian rehab facts, 12 step based rehabs, or other alternative programs do not have a monopoly on recovery. All of these treatment philosophies can and do work for different drug addicts and alcoholics. The key is to be open and willing to try different solutions, until the addict finds something that works for them. Christian rehab help is one such alternative that might have the answer that an addict has been searching for.