For many who are seeking treatment for their alcoholism, their search for the best treatment center that fits their individual and unique needs can be a challenge. In addition to trying to find treatment facilities that offer the best in therapy, aftercare programs, and other treatment services, there are some alcoholics who may be seeking a strong spiritual element as part of an overall alcohol rehab program.
For those who have strong Christian backgrounds, the traditional 12-step programs that are offered at many inpatient alcohol treatment facilities may not provide enough of a spiritual base they need to help overcome their alcohol addiction. While 12-step programs have their history in Christian principles, they only officially recognize a general spirituality. Fortunately, there is an increasing number of Christian alcohol rehab centers that offer the quality treatment programming they need as well as the strong spiritual emphasis they desire.
What is a Christian Alcohol Rehab?
Christian alcohol addiction treatment tracks operate with the underlying philosophy that effective alcohol (and drug) treatment is possible by combining traditional therapy and treatment service programs with Christ-centered teachings. This merging of treatment philosophies is provided in a safe, secure, and therapeutic setting so clients can feel the unconditional love and acceptance of Christ. This love will help in the healing process so that the client can learn to forgive themselves for their addictive behavior.
Christian Tradition In Recovery
Alcohol treatment has deep roots in Christianity. Before the mid-20th century, alcoholism was widely seen as a moral failing to be handled with punitive action. Alcoholics were thrown into “drunk tanks” to sober up, which would clearly have limited results. However, around the turn of the century, doctors and scientists began to recognize addiction as a disease that needed to be treated, not punished.
Meanwhile, a discipleship and fellowship organization called the Oxford Group, was started as a way for members to help each other overcome sin. The group emphasized honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love. Confessing sins to fellow believers and to God, surrendering your life to God, providing restitution to all you have wronged, and listening to God’s guidance were the four basic means by which the fellowship helped its members. Anyone who knows anything about Alcoholics Anonymous may find the Oxford Groups core tenets familiar.
AA founder, Bill Wilson, began in the Oxford Group in 1935 and used many of its major principles in forming AA. Eventually, the two groups would split and 12-step programs were born. AA (and the Christian principles in its DNA) has heavily influenced modern addiction treatment. However, AA doesn’t specifically recognize the God of the Bible but, rather, a Higher Power of its members own choosing. Christians looking for a Christ-centered addiction treatment method have sought out other options. Some programs, like Celebrate Recovery, have used most of AA’s framework and altered it to specifically look to God as the exclusive “higher power.” Some treatment centers offer recovery tracks that follow Christian principles in a similar fashion.
Ministering To The Spirit In Recovery
Detoxification addresses your medical needs and therapists can provide for your mental and emotional needs, but what about your spiritual needs? The spirit, like the body, needs fuel to be healthy. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Through God’s word and his promises, the Christian’s spirit is bolstered and fed. In Christian alcohol rehab, you will be going through a treatment plan that addresses the body, mind, and your spirit by integrating the word of God into treatment, along with tried and true, evidence-based methods.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), one of the biggest principles of effective treatment is that it cannot be a one-size-fits-all plan. Addiction treatment needs to respond to the needs of individual participants. One of the needs of Christians in recovery is to be spiritually fed and to grow in their faith as they overcome addiction. So, for many people, a Christ-centered focus is necessary for effective treatment. Christian rehab programs use the same scientifically-proven treatment modalities that other programs do, like cognitive behavioral therapy. However, they also meet your individual needs as a Christian or even someone who is curious about Christianity and how the redemptive message of Christ can help you in your recovery.
While Christian organizations like the Oxford Group have in many ways led the charge on treating alcoholics like people in need instead of criminals, they can also turn their backs on community members who fall into addiction because they see it as a moral failing. In its latest issue, ByFaith, a Christian magazine, reports on the Church’s struggle to engage with addiction in its current epidemic. The article tells the story of one family who felt discouraged by their local church’s response to their daughter’s addiction saying, “Church was a lonely, lonely, lonely road to navigate.”
However, the message of Christ in the Gospel is to minister to the people who are in need and that his redemption is even for the people rejected by society. When asked by the Pharisees why he eats with sinners in Matthew 9, Jesus responds, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
Through Christian rehab, someone struggling with addiction can learn more about how addiction works and how it truly is a disease. Families impacted by addiction are welcomed to visit and attend therapy sessions with their loved one, to learn how they can effectively minister the people in their lives that are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Our Christian Alcohol Rehab Center
For those individuals to undergo treatment at a Christ-based alcohol addiction treatment center, there are several major benefits these types of addiction programs can provide. First, Christ-based alcohol rehabilitation centers operate from the same spiritual values that the addict holds, and this will help the addict or alcoholic support and encouragement as they seek help with their alcohol addiction.
Those participating in Christian alcohol addiction tracks are able to talk freely and openly to staff about their religious concerns as well as their psychological and physical needs. This is extremely important for the individual to start the process of forgiveness from God for the way they acted towards themselves and others while under the influence of alcohol.
The other advantage of Florida Christian alcohol rehab facilities is that others who participate in the program hold similar Christian beliefs and values to their own. As a result, those new in recovery will be able to form deep friendships and engage in fellowship with other believers who are going through similar experiences. Ultimately, this helps strengthen the client’s faith and allows them to fully realize that many people who believe in God struggle with alcohol addiction on a daily basis. Those who are in Christian alcohol rehab tracks can also support and inspire others who may be having difficulty navigating their way through the program.
After formal treatment concludes and they slowly transition back to their normal family and work lives, those new in recovery are able to continue engaging in fellowship with other group members in aftercare programs such as intensive outpatient treatment or a variety of sober living environments.
The continuing support gives meaning to their struggles with substance abuse and they may feel like they were chosen by God to help others who are suffering. In fact, after recovering from their addiction to alcohol, many former alcoholics start believing that their difficulties were part of God’s plan for them.
Christian Alcohol Rehab Services
If you or a loved one is considered entering an alcohol addiction program that is Christ-based, the following are some services that are unique to these types of treatment programs:
- Individual counseling that addresses shame, guilt, and forgiveness in addiction and provides the life and coping skills necessary to deal with the challenges of day-to-day life
- Primary group counseling sessions that meet several times weekly which are led by a Christ-centered counselor
- Regular Bible study to help clients explore God’s Word and apply God’s teaching to recovery
- Additional spiritual teaching and work through the use of the Twelve-steps and Twelve Traditions
- Attendance at local church services to build fellowship and community
- Family counseling and therapy to help the entire family unit heal together
In addition to these services, there are group activities in which participants may attend church services and lectures featuring Christian speakers that revolve around topics of addiction, recovery, and faith. These Christ-centered types of programming are integrated with traditional approaches such as the following:
- Dual diagnosis evaluation and treatment to help identify co-occurring disorders that can impede the recovery process
- Cognitive-Behavior Therapy and other therapeutic options.
- Relapse prevention education to help those new in recovery guard against the dangers of slipping back into active alcohol use.