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Published: December 16, 2023
Faith-based rehab centers allow people to seek the guidance of a higher power and religious community during substance abuse treatment.
In addition to providing guidance and community, these centers also provide treatment services that are both faith-based and evidence-based, often specific to a certain religion.
Further, faith-based programs can be useful for people who do not follow a specific religion but who consider themselves spiritual or who welcome having a higher power in their recovery plan.
Find out more about faith-based recovery centers, including who can benefit from them, where to find them, the treatment services they offer, cost considerations, and more.
Faith-based rehab centers offer a spiritual component that can be directed toward a specific religion.
Or, some religious rehab centers offer spiritual treatment tracks available to anyone of faith or who is a believer in a higher power.
Religious or spiritual components are considered to be a crucial part of the recovery process, and share the ultimate goal of sobriety with other types of substance abuse treatment.
The aspects of faith within each center or program will depend on the religious or spiritual group who is treated there. Faith-based practices can include worship, prayer, meditation, fasting, and the study of biblical teachings or other indoctrinations.
Answer: The type of person who will likely benefit the most from a religious rehab program is someone who is already part of a system of faith.
This can also include people who would consider themselves to be spiritual, but who do not follow any one particular religion or faith.
People who are not religious may also find a lot of benefit from a religious recovery center. However, they should be open to the idea of a higher power and incorporating spirituality into their addiction treatment.
Faith and spirituality play a large role in religious alcohol and drug rehab, and people will see the most success if they are able to participate in all aspects of their treatment program.
Overview: Both faith-based rehab programs and secular treatment centers offer many of the same basic addiction treatments, like therapy and detox. But there are some important differences to note.
Faith-based rehab programs are for people who believe in God or another higher power and who would like to include these beliefs in their drug or alcohol addiction recovery.
Secular rehab programs are for people who may or may not have faith in a higher power, and who prefer to utilize treatments based on research as opposed to their spiritual beliefs.
Both types of rehab can be equally beneficial depending on the person and their situation, and many rehab centers offer both or an optional religious track.
Answer: What happens in a faith-based recovery program will largely depend on the specific religion or type of faith within that program.
There is a lot of variation between faith-based recovery programs, though they each have the ultimate goal of aiding addiction recovery through spiritual guidance, teachings, and practices.
Treatments and services that you can expect in faith-based recovery programs include:
Faith-based rehab centers and programs can come in a couple of different forms. One of them is a rehab center that is directed specifically toward a certain religion.
More commonly, you may find an optional religious track or program within a larger facility that is directed toward a specific religion.
In a Christian drug rehab center or program, Christ will be at the center of a person’s recovery as they surrender to Him and accept that they are powerless over their addiction.
Christian rehab centers also frequently use the 12 steps as a foundation for many of the practices and treatment options they offer.
In turn, 12-step recovery programs and principles are based on Christian teachings and ideas, and Christian rehab programs offer services like chapel, fellowship, ministry, and Bible study.
Substance abuse and addiction are heavily stigmatized within the Jewish religion and community, and Jewish people are often hesitant to seek treatment for this reason.
Jewish rehab centers and programs often incorporate Jewish heritage, culture, and religious beliefs into treatment, and are often based on the 12-step principles of treatment.
Catholic rehab programs are usually affiliated with a Catholic church or another church agency, and can be residential, outpatient, or located within parish support groups.
Treatment services located within a Catholic rehab program are similar to those in a Christian program, and can include worship, prayer, meditation, penance, and Bible study.
There can be a lot of stigma and judgment faced by muslims who use substances, as both drugs and alcohol are completely forbidden in the religion of Islam.
Because of this, it can be incredibly difficult for muslims struggling with addiction to come forward and seek help. For this reason, it is so important that this group has access to specialized programs that take the shame out of addiction.
Hindu communities and people are generally supportive of individuals with a substance abuse problem, and encourage treatments that bring about harmony and balance within.
Still, the use of drugs and alcohol are not usually found acceptable within this religion, as is common with eastern religions.
In addition to standard treatments that may involve detox, medication, and therapy, rehab programs for Hindus may also focus heavily on meditation and other spiritual exercises.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a denomination of the Adventist Protestant Christian Church. This religion is characterized by a belief in Saturday as the Sabbath and a belief that a second coming of Jesus is imminent.
Like in other Christian religions, the use of drugs and alcohol are discouraged by Seventh-day adventists. However, they also emphasize the power of redemption, and addiction recovery would naturally fall into this.
One significant difference that you would likely find in a rehab program for Seventh-day Adventists would be scheduled prayer services on Saturdays instead of Sundays.
Presbyterians believe in God as an ultimate authority figure, and live by strict ethical standards that include a limited use of drugs and alcohol.
On the other hand, they do acknowledge that addiction can happen to anyone and believe in treating those with alcohol or drug addiction with compassion and grace. However, they also believe in holding them accountable for their behaviors and actions.
Treatments in Presbyterian rehab centers or programs are similar to those in other Christian rehabs, often incorporating the 12 steps and taking a Christ-centered approach.
Pentecostals, sometimes called Charismatics, are a Protestant Christian group who believe that people must have individual and personal experiences with God through baptism.
In this religion, the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit that should never be defiled in ways such as alcohol and drug use.
Pentecostal rehab programs encourage participants to seek complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol as an ultimate goal, and this is done primarily through prayer and worship.
One of the major beliefs and principles in the Buddhist religion is that life is based around the concept of suffering, and one of the ways people try to fix suffering is through drugs or alcohol.
Buddhist rehab programs help people find inner peace through meditation and mindfulness and provide traditional treatments like detox and counseling and incorporate 12-step principles.
The Eastern Orthodox Church views alcohol and drug use as sins, and believes human beings are naturally inclined toward these types of sins.
Through strong faith, a person can overcome these temptations and find a renewed strength in God and a foundation for a better life.
In addition to treatment services you may see in other types of Christian rehab programs, you may also see prayer and fasting used together in the process of recovery.
Opinions of drug and alcohol use within the Baptist Church can vary significantly. Some encourage complete abstinence, while others are open to alcohol use when it doesn’t lead to drunkeness.
As one of the largest denominations of Protestant Christians with a large presence in the United States, there are numerous inpatient and outpatient rehab programs available to Baptists.
The Methodist Church is the largest sect of Protestant Christianity, with more than 80 million practicing members.
This sect discourages the use of drugs and alcohol, but acknowledges the presence of addiction. It encourages people who are struggling to seek salvation through their faith, with the assistance of treatments like detox, medication-assisted treatment, and therapy.
Protestant Christians believe in the Bible as the ultimate authority on the Christian faith and its teachings and practices.
Protestants currently make up hundreds of millions of people around the world, and there is a great deal of variation among them. Some groups may consider substance use to be a mortal sin, while others may see addiction as a disease that can affect anyone.
Because protestantism is so common in America, many Christian rehabs focus on this sect in their treatments, providing services like Bible study, prayer, and worship.
Jehovah’s Witnesses encourage a complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol, but acknowledge that it is hard to resist temptation in the modern world.
Treatments and services in a Jehovah’s Witnesses rehab center may include supervision from medical professionals, prayer, Bible study, and counseling from authorities in the congregation.
The Episcopal religion is another Protestant Christian sect that believes in a God who is loving, merciful, and life-giving.
Because of their view of God as loving, Episcopals are known for being one of the more socially liberal sects of Christian religion. They view addiction has a disease that is highly treatable and believe that faith is one of the most valuable treatment tools for addiction.
Christian addiction treatments in an Episcopal rehab are likely to combine faith-based, evidence-based, and holistic methods.
Evangelicals preach salvation as something that is attained through being “born again” in the Holy Spirit and forming a personal relationship with God.
This idea of personal renewal and redemption fits well with addiction recovery. And Evangelical drug and alcohol abuse rehab centers focus on helping participants achieve sobriety, then move on to lead better and more fulfilling lives.
Sikhism is an Indian religion and is considered one of the world’s youngest religions. This religion views substance use as an unhealthy attachment and one which can distract people from their true spiritual path.
Rehab programs for Sikhs emphasize helping people to find their way back to God, pledge abstinence against substances, and partake in acts of clarity, compassion, and generosity.
The Jain religion is somewhat unique in that it does not believe in a single higher power or God, nor does it view the universe as having been created.
Instead of centering on a god or gods, the Jain religion preaches non-violence, peace, and renunciation — and on achieving a spiritual awakening.
There is some stigma and shame around addiction in the Jainism community, but treatment is still available to members of this religion who are struggling.
Baha’i is more of a belief system than a religion, and one which seeks to view the world as united in all religions and in one religion at the same time.
Although the principles of Baha’i are based on oneness and unity among all humanity, this is a group that strictly forbids the use of drugs and alcohol. This group believes that substance use distracts from a person’s sense of purpose and self-worth.
Members of the Baha’i faith are welcome to attend faith-based rehab centers where they can work to reconnect and regain meaning within their faith and lives.
Rastafari is a religious and political movement that was founded in the 1930s in Jamaica, and which combines elements of protestant Christianity and mysticism.
Rastas are typically against the use of drugs and alcohol, although they do use cannabis regularly for sacramental purposes.
Rastas tend to prefer natural healing methods, so Rastafarian rehab centers may offer treatment services that are homeopathic and holistic as opposed to medication-based.
Wicca religion is often misunderstood and is an earth-centered religion that is a version of a modern pagan religion.
The use of substances in this religion is generally viewed as a personal choice, although the use of illegal drugs is never encouraged or endorsed.
Some Wiccans may be opposed to the use of Christian prayers or the 12-step model in recovery, and may likely prefer pagan-friendly groups like those for Pagans in Recovery (PIR).
Religious rehab centers often provide a mixture of spiritual treatment services with evidence-based and research-based treatments.
There is a lot of variation between rehab centers and programs in terms of specific services they offer, but there are some which you can expect to find standard in addiction recovery.
Treatments you can find in religious rehab centers include:
The cost of faith-based rehab programs can vary significantly among treatment facilities and will depend on several factors.
Factors that affect the cost of faith-based rehab programs include:
Regardless of your financial situation, many faith-based rehab centers are willing to work with people in order to get them into proper treatment.
Further, some are offered for free or very low-cost and are funded by scholarships or donations.
It is possible to find healthcare insurance plans that will cover the costs of faith-based rehab centers, assuming that the rehab facility accepts insurance as a form of payment.
For facilities which do accept insurance, they would need to be in your insurance network in order to be covered in most instances.
In addition, certain services like medical detox or an inpatient or residential stay may need prior authorization or a referral from your primary care physician in order to be covered.
It is always recommended to have a good understanding of your insurance coverage before undertaking any new medical expenses, including substance abuse treatment.
When seeking a religious or spiritual addiction treatment center, one of the first options to consider is checking within your local religious organization or community.
You can also speak with your primary care physician, or another medical professional that you trust.
Additional resources for finding religious and spiritual rehab centers include:
You can also browse the comprehensive directory of treatment centers on our website any time, or call our hotline to speak with a trained representative.
Faith-based treatment will not be the right choice for every person, but for many people facing substance abuse, faith-based options can be just what they need to find the right path.
Addiction recovery programs are not always easy to find. However, you can contact us any time for assistance in locating an accredited faith-based drug and alcohol rehab in your state.
Everyone deserves a chance to build a new life for themselves, and faith and spirituality can be powerful tools with which to build the foundation for this new life. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us today.
Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. “Substance Abuse and Addiction in the Muslim Community: Facing Stigma and Seeking Support.”
National Library of Medicine. “Belief, Behavior, and Belonging: How Faith is Indispensable in Preventing and Recovering from Substance Abuse.”
National Library of Medicine. “God Forbid! Substance Use Among Religious and Nonreligious Youth.”
National Library of Medicine. “Religious and spiritual beliefs and attitudes towards addiction and addiction treatment: A scoping review.”
Psychology Today. “The Role of Spirituality in Addiction Recovery.”
Sage Journals. “Religious and non-religious components in substance abuse treatment: A comparative analysis of faith-based and secular interventions.”
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