Red Flags: What To Avoid When Picking Faith-Based Rehab Centers

Mar 14, 2024

When you’re suffering from addiction, it’s difficult to slow down and research Christian-based rehabilitation centers. You want to get in, get healthy, and get back to your life. Aren’t all facilities pretty much the same? You pray, read the Bible, and follow the 12-step program, right?

Unfortunately, some people want to help you walk with God, but they don’t understand how faith works when it comes to addiction recovery. Other people just want your money. Sorting out which program is right for you is essential to lasting recovery. If you notice these red flags, scratch the offending rehab center off your list and move on.

Red Flags: What To Avoid When Picking Faith-Based Rehab Centers

(bruno neurath-wilson/Unsplash)

Red Flag: They Cut Off Communication Between The Patient And Family

Addiction thrives in isolation. We want to hide the damage our addiction has done to our lives and relationships. We want to avoid the pain of facing people we’ve hurt. Part of the healing process is taking responsibility and seeking to repair any damage we’ve caused.

Good faith-based recovery centers will include family in the healing process. Family counseling with a licensed therapist can structure the healing process so it is productive rather than damaging, but they will encourage honest communication.

Family can also be your greatest support during treatment and in finding a sober lifestyle when you leave the safety of the recovery center. Any facility that cuts off communication between the patient and supportive family does more harm than good.

Patients also need to be free to speak up if they aren’t treated fairly. While most rehabilitation centers do their best to promote a safe, healthy environment, there are some bad apples in the bunch. Free communication prevents abusive situations from developing.

Red Flag: The Center Requires You To Work During Treatment

There are outpatient programs that allow you to work while seeking treatment. These can be beneficial for parents who have no childcare options and people who can’t afford inpatient care, but this arrangement may not be enough to help you progress.

Inpatient facilities are designed to provide 24-hour care and support. Patients must participate in group therapy, individual therapy, discussions, and classes to learn new coping behaviors. It’s also helpful for patients to pull away from distractions of the outside world so that they can focus solely on recovering. If you’re working a full-time job, you’re paying for room and board rather than going to treatment, and you can’t be fully invested in healing.

Red Flag: They Tear You Down Rather Than Build You Up

Yes, admitting what you’ve done wrong is important to move toward recovery, but in a Christian treatment center, this is a healing process. Christ already paid the price for our sins, so we aren’t seeking punishment. We aren’t looking for ways to flog ourselves into better behavior. And no one outside a court of law suits in judgment.

Any confessions are confidential so long as they don’t harm anyone or compromise their safety. Patients don’t have to wear a badge of dishonor declaring their sin for the rest of the patients or staff to see. It’s no one’s business unless the patient discloses that information in a group session. The patients don’t have to carry guilt beyond what’s necessary to make amends to any wronged party. They learn to move past their mistakes toward a better future.

Instead, the counselor helps the patient in their first uncertain steps toward a relationship with God that will make them strong enough to overcome challenges in the future. Testimony, like sobriety, is a process. You cannot expect a patient with new faith to approach a problem like a prophet or saint. They can let go of old philosophies and stumbling blocks as they learn to rely on their higher power. They learn to trust God one step at a time, choice by choice, as they test His promises of strength and healing.

Steer clear of any program that undermines this atonement-centered recovery process.

Red Flag: They Expel You From The Program For Relapses

Recovery is a process that often includes relapse. Recovery centers are hospitals. What good is a hospital if they kick you out for showing symptoms of the disease for which you were admitted? That doesn’t mean they allow patients to bring substances into the facility or break other rules, but the patient deserves grace when they stumble.

The best rehab centers understand that relapse is a symptom of the disease. They work on helping the patient recognize their triggers, what went wrong, and how to cope better in a similar situation in the future. Or better yet, how to avoid the problem altogether. They show compassion rather than condemning the patient.

Last Words

If you or a loved one are looking for a drug treatment facility here in Utah, find one centered on God’s love, not man’s judgment.

“However late you think you are, however, many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.”

― Jeffrey R. Holland