Addiction is defined as compulsive behavior that makes it difficult to stop, even if the behavior causes negative consequences. Some people are more prone to compulsive behavior than others, but anyone can become addicted, especially to mind-altering substances like drugs or alcohol. Seeking treatment is the first courageous step toward hope and recovery.
Faith-based addiction treatment emphasizes care that focuses on trusting in a “higher power.” Many people find recovery easier when they center their thoughts on forgiveness, mercy, and being part of something bigger than themselves rather than obsessing over the behavior. Christian Author Stephen A. Cramer said it best: “What holds your attention, holds you.”
Finding the right faith-based addiction recovery center to help you achieve sobriety may significantly affect your success, so what specific aspects should you look for? How do you know which facility is best suited to your needs?
Where To Start
Researching potential facilities will allow you to find a program that closely aligns with your beliefs and supports your efforts to get and stay clean.
Spiritual Advisor: One of the first places to look for information is with your spiritual advisor. They may have information about local resources or facilities supporting your faith.
Doctor/Psychiatrist/Psychologist: Speaking to your physician or therapist is also an option. They’ll know of facilities in your area and should be able to tell you something about their program or reputation in the medical community.
What To Look For
There are several types of rehabilitation programs available. These include:
- Inpatient – The patient is in the facility for around-the-clock care. This is particularly helpful during the detox phase of recovery. The medical staff can monitor your health and ease symptoms with medication. Getting out of the environment that fostered your addiction also makes it easier to change old patterns.
- Outpatient – This means the patient returns home every night. The program can include daily meetings for people needing extensive support, as-needed appointments for emergencies, or weekly meetings to help those in the maintenance phase of their recovery.
- Group Therapy – A counselor-led peer group that allows participants to share their experiences, insights, coping techniques, and support.
- Individual Therapy – A therapist helps you tackle your traumas, challenge existing beliefs, and address other conditions that may complicate your recovery, such as depression, PTSD, grief, abuse, mental illness, physical illness, and more.
- Spiritual Practices – Most hospitals allow outside clergy to meet with a patient at their request. Faith-based treatment centers may offer church services or faith-based classes and programs that help patients use their faith to bolster their resolve. People of faith can also find comfort during the rough moments of alcohol and drug rehab.
- Alumni Support – Aftercare programs help encourage participants to support and guide each other through sobriety.
Sobriety doesn’t happen overnight. Whether you choose inpatient or outpatient services, it’s critical to know what kind of time commitment you expect to make. It’s good to understand that now and make the mental adjustment. That time is dedicated to helping you get healthy. If you need to arrange time off work, childcare, or make other arrangements, you can do so before treatment so you can focus on getting better.
Does the facility focus on the long term? Do they help you create a plan to remain sober after initial treatment ends? The right aftercare will help you:
- Develop your “Why” for getting and staying sober. (When you write this down, be specific. “My family loses their home if I relapse and lose my job,” as opposed to “I need to pay my bills.”)
- Identify your triggers: the people, situations, and places that make you want to drink or do drugs.
- Develop specific strategies to avoid or deal with triggers.
- Make short and long-term goals, and break them into manageable steps to track your effort and progress.
- Come up with a self-care routine that will soothe and comfort you during times of stress.
- Handle the temptation to relapse, and show you the way to get back on track if you do relapse. This could be calling a sponsor, going to a meeting, or seeing a counselor.
- Surround yourself with peers who will hold you accountable.
Credentials and Certifications
It’s important to know that the people running the programs are certified and can effectively guide you through the process.
Equally important is understanding what treatment will cost, if your insurance covers any of it, and if they have payment plan options. While the service is invaluable, getting in over your head financially leads to elevated stress and possible relapse. Payment options include grants, scholarships, sliding scale, and financing.
Finding a center that aligns with your values, offers continuing support, and focuses on the positive things you gain from recovery rather than just breaking behavioral patterns gives you the greatest chance for success. Using a faith-based approach treats the whole person rather than just the disease.