Christian Rehab Centers for Addiction Treatment

Amanda Stevens

Written By

Amanda Stevens

As of 2022, about ⅔ of US adults claimed Christianity as their religion.[1] This is considerably less than claimed Christianity as recently the early 1990s, when almost 90% of Americans claimed affiliation with Christianity.[2]

Key points:

  • Christian addiction treatment centers integrate a person's faith into the rehab process for alcohol and drug addiction.
  • Some secular rehab centers offer Christian treatment using Religiously Integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (RCBT), which combines CBT techniques with religious traditions.
  • Christian 12-step programs, like Celebrate Recovery and Re:Generation, adapt the AA 12-step structure with explicit Scriptural justifications.
  • Recovery Unplugged offers a faith-based therapy program with licensed therapists, incorporating Scripture, prayer, and spiritual music into a 6 to 10-week treatment course.

What are Christian Addiction Treatment Centers?

Christian drug rehab programs function similarly to Christian alcohol recovery programs: They integrate the person’s faith into the treatment process to give them the best chance of rehabilitation.

Some rehab centers are secular in nature but offer Christian addiction treatment by utilizing something called RCBT: Religiously Integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.[12] This uses many of the same tools, principles, and styles of CBT but instead uses a client’s religious tradition as the foundation to replace negative thought patterns or unwanted behaviors.

Christian drug rehab programs function similarly to Christian alcohol recovery programs: They integrate the person’s faith into the treatment process to give them the best chance of rehabilitation.

Some rehab centers are secular in nature but offer Christian addiction treatment by utilizing something called RCBT: Religiously Integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.[12] This uses many of the same tools, principles, and styles of CBT but instead uses a client’s religious tradition as the foundation to replace negative thought patterns or unwanted behaviors.

The major tools of RCBT include[13]:

  • Restoration of the mind
  • Reciting and memorizing Scripture
  • Meditative prayer
  • Challenging unwanted thoughts using scripture or traditions
  • Practicing gratitude, hope, mercy, and forgiveness
  • Consistent involvement in a local church

Other rehab centers are Christian by their very nature and offer Christian-based recovery programs alongside more traditional therapeutic programs like MAT and CBT. While they function similarly to RCBT, an addiction program from an explicitly Christian rehab center will emphasize a strong role-model relationship between the therapist and client.[14]

Benefits of Choosing a Christian Rehab Center

Integrating faith into an addiction treatment plan is powerful if the client believes it will prove effective and makes small daily strides toward sobriety.

Even a secular person needs to believe in the governing conceptions of secular psychotherapy for it to be successful. For programs like CBT to be effective, a secular person with an addiction must believe in the efficacy of practices like collaborative style, clear agenda-setting, frequent client feedback solicitation, active listening, empathic communication, Socratic questioning, guided discovery of knowledge, and the importance of completing homework assignments to change unwanted thought patterns and behaviors.[15]

Conversely, suppose a Christian with an addiction believes in the efficacy of practices like reading the Bible, meditative prayer, vulnerable disclosure, and embodied community alongside the theological realities of renewal and restoration. In that case, faith-based therapy in a Christian Rehab Center will be effective.

Christian patients also appreciate not having their spiritual practices get ridiculed, opposed, or dismissed. In one study, when Christian former clients were surveyed about the quality of the secular care they received, they reported dissatisfaction when their spiritual beliefs were opposed or simply avoided by the therapist.[16]

National Christian 12-Step Programs

Christian 12-step recovery programs utilize the 12-step structure invented by Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930’s. However, while 12-step AA defines itself as “spiritual” rather than “religious”, Christian 12-step is explicitly religious in nature.

Christian 12-Step

This non-profit faith ministry is a Bible-based recovery program that takes place in the context of small groups which meet around the United States. While it does use the famous 12 steps of AA, it uses explicit Scriptural justification for each one.

Check out the group directory to see if there is a small group which meets near you.

Celebrate Recovery

Hosted by over 35,000 churches since its inception in 1991, this Christian 12-step program has graduated millions of people from its program, and many of them are still living out their long-term sobriety. It’s currently the most widespread of any Christian 12-step program.

To find a local “Celebrate Recovery” ministry, search their group/state rep locator.

Re:Generation

Characterizing itself as a Biblical discipleship program, this Christian 12-step program exists in over half of all US states (most prominently in Texas), and it incorporates Scripture as a foundation for each of the12 steps of addiction recovery.

It’s easy to find support groups near you by using their group locator.

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Local Christian Support Groups and Faith-Based Therapy

If you live in the US cities of Austin, Fort Lauderdale, Nashville, and Virginia, here are a few ways to find Christian rehab centers:

Nashville

Austin

Virginia

Fort Lauderdale

Faith-Based Recovery

If you are serious about integrating faith into your recovery journey, consider our faith-based therapy program at Recovery Unplugged.

We offer licensed therapists who can assist you in a 6 to 10-week treatment course that provides structure, accountability, and empowerment to help you draw your recovery strength from God.

Sessions could include Scripture recitation, prayer, group exercises, individual exercises, and engagement with spiritual music. We want to connect the principles, stories, and characters of the Bible to your lived experiences for extra encouragement during demanding stretches of your recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions about Christian Rehab Centers

What’s the Christian View on Alcohol?

There is nothing in the Bible that prohibits the use of alcohol. Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding party.

What the Bible does prohibit is drunkenness or the overindulgence of alcohol. Alcohol caused as many problems for the characters of the Bible as it does for society today. The authors of the Bible exhort us to be “sober-minded.” (1 Pet 5:8a New International Version)

Christian alcohol rehab doesn’t necessarily involve abstinence from alcohol for the rest of your life. But, the taste of alcohol could be a relapse trigger for some, so you need to be careful if you plan on having alcohol during your sobriety.

Is Christian Rehab Expensive?

There is nothing in the Bible that prohibits the use of alcohol. Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding party.

What the Bible does prohibit is drunkenness or the overindulgence of alcohol. Alcohol caused as many problems for the characters of the Bible as it does for society today. The authors of the Bible exhort us to be “sober-minded.” (1 Pet 5:8a New International Version)

Christian alcohol rehab doesn’t necessarily involve abstinence from alcohol for the rest of your life. But, the taste of alcohol could be a relapse trigger for some, so you need to be careful if you plan on having alcohol during your sobriety.

Is Christian Rehab like Church?

There is nothing in the Bible that prohibits the use of alcohol. Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding party.

What the Bible does prohibit is drunkenness or the overindulgence of alcohol. Alcohol caused as many problems for the characters of the Bible as it does for society today. The authors of the Bible exhort us to be “sober-minded.” (1 Pet 5:8a New International Version)

Christian alcohol rehab doesn’t necessarily involve abstinence from alcohol for the rest of your life. But, the taste of alcohol could be a relapse trigger for some, so you need to be careful if you plan on having alcohol during your sobriety.

Sources


[1][2] Nadeem, R. (2022, September 13). 1. how U.S. religious composition has changed in recent decades. Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project. https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2022/09/13/how-u-s-religious-composition-has-changed-in-recent-decades/#fn-38127-6

[3] McCoy, L., Frayne, S., Bokhour, B., & Hermos, J. (n.d.). Conceptual bases of Christian, faith-based Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Programs: Qualitative analysis of staff interviews. Substance abuse. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16150675/

[4][14] Cook, L., Humphreys, B., & Stallard, J. (n.d.). The effects of faith-based therapy versus secular therapy. Cedarville University School of Nursing. https://digitalcommons.cedarville.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1284&context=research_scholarship_symposium

[5] Neff, J. A., & MacMaster, S. A. (n.d.). Spiritual mechanisms underlying substance abuse behavior change in Faith-Based Substance Abuse Treatment. Taylor and Francis Online. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J160v05n03_04

[6] Projections of national expenditures for treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. SAMHSA. (n.d.). https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/d7/priv/sma14-4883.pdf

[7] Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States. (n.d.). https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt39443/2021NSDUHFFRRev010323.pdf

[8] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2022, October 26). Making addiction treatment more realistic and pragmatic: The perfect should not be the enemy of the good. National Institutes of Health. https://nida.nih.gov/about-nida/noras-blog/2022/01/making-addiction-treatment-more-realistic-pragmatic-perfect-should-not-be-enemy-good

[9] Smyth, B., Barry, J., Keenan, E., & Ducray, K. (n.d.). Lapse and relapse following inpatient treatment of opiate dependence. Irish medical journal. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20669601/

[10] The Pew Charitable Trusts. (2023, September 8). More than 1 in 9 adults with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders are arrested annually. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2023/02/over-1-in-9-people-with-co-occurring-mental-illness-and-substance-use-disorders-arrested-annually

[11] Grim, B. J., & Grim, M. E. (2019, October). Belief, behavior, and belonging: How faith is indispensable in preventing and recovering from substance abuse. Journal of religion and health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6759672/

[12][13][15] Pearce, M. J., Koenig, H. G., Robins, C. J., Nelson, B., Shaw, S. F., Cohen, H. J., & King, M. B. (2015, March). Religiously integrated cognitive behavioral therapy: A new method of treatment for major depression in patients with chronic medical illness. Psychotherapy (Chicago, Ill.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4457450/

[16] Cragun, C., & Friedlander, M. (n.d.). Experiences of Christian clients in secular psychotherapy: A mixed-methods investigation. Journal of counseling psychology. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22563669/

About the Author

Amanda Stevens is a highly respected figure in the field of medical content writing, with a specific focus on eating.

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