Chances are you’re here because you have a history with or currently relate to a community of faith. You miss that connection to God and want to get it back, but you can’t seem to get past your addictions and all the associated embarrassment and hopelessness that keep you apart from Him.
Ready for some good news? You’re in the right place, and God doesn’t care how you got here. He’s just happy you made it.
A Typical Lineup
So, what should you plan for when you start treatment at a Christian-based rehabilitation center like Renaissance Ranch? Our counselors suggested the following:
God Is the Higher Power in 12 Steps
Throughout the 12 Steps, we are asked to surrender our will to a power greater than ourselves, a force that can fill our emotional voids and heal our wounded souls. In the case of faith-based treatment, that higher power refers to the deity. Depending on your faith tradition, you may have a different name for Him than I do, but that’s irrelevant because we’re talking about the same being – the supreme creator of the universe and us.
Prayer and Meditation
Your day will likely include several periods where you will have the opportunity for personal prayer and introspection. There are no prerequisites to talk to God – you don’t need to be in a church or even on your knees. The key is to open your heart and let Him know what you’re feeling and thinking. You may also use the time before, during, or after prayer to journal your thoughts or read the Bible or other inspirational texts.
When you’re in group therapy or other situations, your facilitator may start and end the activity with a prayer or invite others to pray with them during the meeting. While no one is ever obligated to pray in front of others as part of treatment, you can join in or lead prayer if you choose.
Scripture Readings, Discussion
In Christian or non-denominational faith-based rehabs, expect to read scriptures from the Bible and other books of holy scripture. You likely will also spend time discussing how these texts represent some of the many ways God speaks to and provides guidance for His children.
Scripture stories also address many topics with which substance abusers have to grapple, such as repentance, forgiveness, unconditional love, faith, and enduring trials. By studying the men and women of scripture, we realize how much we have in common with them and how we can grow from their testimonies.
Individual Faith Counseling
Counselors and therapists working at faith-based treatment centers often have a religious or spiritual foundation, making it easier for them to relate to patients who want to incorporate religious views into evidence-based therapy sessions. Religious aspects of individual counseling can include delving deeper into your faith history and discussing your goals for becoming closer to God while in recovery.
Focus on Service
As the Savior Jesus Christ said in Luke 12:48, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” Once we have tasted God’s goodness and His forgiveness, it’s up to us to pass our experiences on to others. You won’t find any religious counsel more pertinent to those in recovery than this one. It’s even codified in the last of the 12 Steps – having experienced a spiritual awakening, it’s now up to us to carry the message of hope to all who suffer as we did.
In a faith-based program, you will have many opportunities to serve others, whether in the community or the confines of the facility where you’re undergoing treatment. By serving our fellow man, our faith grows, and we come closer to God. It’s as simple as that.
Why Go with Faith-Based Rehab?
Because it works. In study after study, substance abusers going through faith-based treatment experience fewer relapses and more prolonged bouts of sobriety than their peers who seek recovery in state-run or private secular programs. And federal government agencies like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have taken notice and offered support. SAMHSA’s Community Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership Program includes more than 800 faith-based community organizations among its grantees.
Faith-based treatment centers combine established clinical addiction treatments – like cognitive behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization reprocessing – with a deity-centric plan like Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12 Steps.
“Individually, each method has seen varying degrees of success over the years, depending on the person,” explained Preston Dixon, COO at the Utah-based rehab for men. “But together, these programs address addiction in a fully holistic way, tackling mental, physical, and spiritual health issues all at once.”
Basing a recovery plan on a foundation of faith has several benefits. One of the major ones is that it allows you to reconnect with a loving and forgiving God, enabling you to work past the shame of your disease and regain your self-worth. Another plus is that faith in God naturally produces a sense of accountability, which will help keep you on the path to sobriety.
Finally, engaging with a faith community can bring us out of the isolation in which addiction thrives. Having the support and fellowship of people with similar beliefs and spiritual goals will strengthen your resolve to continue working at recovery, even if you suffer some relapses along the way.
For more information about our faith-based recovery programs in Utah and Idaho, give us a call at 855-736-7262.