Faith-Based Addiction Treatment & the Pros and Cons
Many of the most successful and effective addiction treatment centers have a faith-based perspective. Despite their success these programs may not be appropriate for everyone. An increasing number of results-driven and scientifically-based secular programs have emerged. Deciding on the best addiction therapy for you or your loved one is a daunting task. Understanding the pros and cons of faith-based treatment can help you make the best choice possible.
Benefits of Faith-Based Addiction Treatment
Addiction strikes right at the heart of a person’s psychological health. While the body’s physical need for drugs or alcohol may be the most obvious aspect of addiction, the emotional side of addiction is just as powerful. Faith-based treatment confronts all aspects of the disease, and treats the addict as a whole person and not just a sickness. Very few religious treatment centers require a profession of faith for entrance. These programs simply administer all of their therapy within a religious or spiritual context and attempt to do the following:
- Build damaged spirits
- Seek the help of an identified “higher power”
- Encourage humility, openness, confession and forgiveness
- Offer long-term hope and optimism
- Find meaning in suffering and trials
- Seek life-wide healing, not just addiction recovery
- Provide access to an ongoing and dynamic community of faith immediately following rehab
While the goals of faith-based rehab are, primarily, to help a person get clean and stay clean, there is no denying that many of these programs also seek to introduce people to their community of faith. While preexisting faith or religious belief is almost never a prerequisite for entry into any program, the particular faith-group in question will no doubt do their best to welcome the recovering addict into their particular church or fellowship. However unlike basic proselytization the primary motive for most faith-based recovery programs is to serve their patients as best as they can regardless of the addict’s belief structure or lack thereof.
Disadvantages of Faith-Based Addiction Treatment
The bulk of addiction treatment is essentially the same, whether it is faith-based or not. Thus the most obvious disadvantage of a faith-based treatment program would be if the recovering addict had differing religious views than the program. This might make the following aspects of rehab uncomfortable:
- Religious differences may cause tensions with fellow patients
- Faith-based motivators will not work well with an non-religious person
- Negative past experiences with a given church may sour a person’s attitude toward treatment
Personal Help Navigating Addiction Treatment Options
If you are trying to find the right treatment center for yourself or a loved one, please call our toll-free helpline any time of day or night. Our specially trained addiction counselors can answer any questions you may have about faith-based or secular treatment and can connect you with the best program to meet your specific needs and preferences. Religious or not, if you are addicted to drugs you need help, and we can help you find it.