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Catholic Drug and Alcohol Rehabs

Rear view of catholic woman praying for her recovery journey in the church

Published: January 10, 2024

Taking the step into rehab treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is big. Rehab is hard. If you identify as Catholic, it may help you to seek treatment that follows the faith practices you are familiar with.

While treatment facilities can be specifically Catholic or offer Catholic-based services, they should include treatments that align with what you would receive at most rehab facilities.

No two treatment programs will be exactly the same. But you may find some comfort and coping mechanisms that better fit with who you are by selecting a recovery program that honors your core belief system.

About Catholic Rehab Centers

The Catholic Church recognizes the challenges of substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health issues. It addresses those in multiple ways, including focusing on the recovery process for those who are dealing with alcohol or drug abuse.

Catholic rehab centers will offer treatments much like any other inpatient or outpatient rehab. The differences will mainly come in what’s offered on top of standard treatments or how standard treatments may be approached as part of the Catholic faith.

Some Catholic medical facilities have partnered with local law enforcement to provide those in the midst of addiction the option of entering rehab rather than facing jail.

Others have sponsored transportation services specifically for low-income individuals who need to receive addiction services.

Key Facts on Catholic Rehab

  • 60% of Catholics have consumed alcohol within the past 30 days.
  • Globally, the Catholic Church operates through tens of thousands of care facilities, including hospitals and rehabilitation centers.
  • Alcohol consumption is common in Catholic services and at most social events sponsored by the Catholic Church, leading some to question the drinking habits that tie into the Catholic community.
  • The majority of Catholics do not believe that drinking alcohol is morally wrong, but drunkenness and taking drugs for non-medicinal purposes are considered sinful behaviors.
  • Benefits: the ability to begin recovery while reconnecting with your faith or learning Catholicism, connection with like-minded individuals who are facing challenges like yours, faith-based treatments, and coping skills that include prayers and beings over addiction and recovery
  • Types of addiction treated: drug addiction (opioids, stimulants, inhalants, depressants, hallucinogens), alcohol addiction (wine, beer, liquor), behavioral addiction (gambling, internet, gaming, pornography)
  • Treatments offered: medical detoxification, inpatient rehab, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, outpatient, counseling/behavioral therapy, support groups, Catholic-aligned spiritual services and guidance
  • Payment/cost information: You may be able to get financial assistance for treatment through the Catholic treatment center you use or a Catholic charity. As inpatient rehab can cost thousands of dollars if paying out-of-pocket, you may want to check with your insurance company as well or seek insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicare, or Medicaid, all of which are required to offer some coverage of SUD treatment.

Who Can Benefit from Catholic Rehab Programs?

Answer: Anyone who is Catholic can benefit greatly from having Catholic ideals incorporated into their drug or alcohol abuse treatment.

However, anyone who seeks to connect with God may find that a Catholic rehab program best meets their needs. Adding faith-based elements to drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment can reduce relapses and strengthen a person’s connection to sobriety.

If you or your loved ones are seeking a drug rehab center that is Christ-centered, you may benefit from a Catholic recovery center.

Catholic Rehab vs. Non-Faith-Based Rehab

Overview: While you may find a path to successful recovery in either rehab program, you may find that a Christian rehab center is a better fit.

Catholic rehab will incorporate prayers, confession, Bible study, and other elements of Catholicism into its program. While they may include more science-based treatment, the faith-based elements distinguish them from secular rehab programs.

Secular rehab programs will include standard treatment for your treatment plan, which can be detoxification, inpatient rehab, partial hospitalization program (PHP), intensive outpatient program (IOP), and outpatient program.

While many 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) acknowledge a higher power, they aren’t specifically Catholic. However, they may be incorporated into a Catholic rehab program.

What Happens in a Catholic Addiction Treatment Program?

Answer: It varies. It depends on what type of addiction treatment program you’re in as well as the fact that it’s Catholic.

The most important thing to remember is that a Catholic-based or Catholic-associated addiction treatment program may add components that include faith-based practices as a part of recovery.

For example:

  • Praying the Rosary
  • Giving confession
  • Reciting novenas
  • Lighting candles
  • Attending mass and praying
  • Spending time in Adoration

Treatment Services & Activities in Catholic Rehab Programs

Though Catholic rehab programs may largely mirror other types of addiction treatment programs, you’ll encounter some differences in certain aspects.

Inpatient or Residential Treatment

These should align with standard care plans, though there will probably be more faith-based parts, like services, prayers, and spiritual guidance. You should still receive medical care from qualified medical professionals, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Chapel, Prayer, and Worship

Elements of Catholic faith practices like mass, confession, prayers, rosary, and novenas and sacraments like communion may all be a part of Catholic rehab.

Mass may be in English or Latin, depending on the preferences of those planning the worship.

Gender-Based Care

Catholic rehabs may separate men from women, so if you want a co-ed recovery experience, you might want to consider alternative rehab program options. Some Catholic rehab programs are only open to one gender.

Catholic Fellowship

During treatment, you may be around priests, nuns, friars, and volunteers who are all Catholic. As you progress in recovery, you may become part of a Catholic church and community.

Know that drinking wine is a traditional part of communion in many Catholic churches, even for adolescents. Still, they may offer grape juice as a non-alcoholic alternative, especially if they know of a recovering addict in the congregation.

Outpatient Treatment

Catholic rehab facilities may offer outpatient treatment. The Catholic Church has also established social rehabilitation centers, which can be effective but must be accredited.

Studies consider the faith-based components of social rehab centers to contribute heavily to their success.

Counseling and Therapy

Counseling and therapy through a Catholic rehab program may involve a priest who will approach mental health treatment with a mind to spirituality and discussions of:

  • Addiction as a sin
  • How you confess and atone for it
  • How you move forward even when tempted

The Catholic Church has advocated the importance of behavioral health treatment as part of the overall healthcare approach, seeking to encourage holistic treatment.

Some Catholic clergy have received additional training and education in dealing with behavioral health for those in recovery.


Catholic rehab programs may use a social detoxification process rather than a medical one, depending on what you’re addicted to and how severely. Make sure that the treatment center is fully accredited for such treatments.

If you require a medical drug or alcohol detox, you may find a Catholic rehab that offers it as part of its treatment services.

Support Groups

Some Catholic rehab programs offer support groups specific to their religious beliefs. Others may modify existing support group styles to better align with Catholic faith practices.

While they aren’t specifically Catholic, many Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) groups meet in Catholic churches around the country. As group therapy can be very beneficial in the recovery process, it should be a part of your treatment plan.

Cost of Catholic Rehab Centers

Rehab, in general, can be quite costly. The Catholic Church has charities that may help offset some of the costs of its rehab programs, but keep in mind that you may not be able to cover the total costs even with financial assistance.

You may find a Catholic rehab program that offers a payment plan on a sliding scale based on your income or will treat you even if you are unable to pay for services.

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of a Catholic Rehab Program?

Answer: It might. To know for sure, you’ll have to check with your insurance company about your specific insurance plan.

For example, if a Catholic rehab program is not in your insurance company’s coverage area, it may not be covered. If it’s an accredited, social-based treatment program instead of a medical-based one, it’s less likely to fall under your insurance.

The cost of the program may prohibit insurance coverage as well. While many church-related programs can be nonprofit, many are also private programs, which can be expensive.

What Happens After You Finish Catholic Rehab?

Answer: You may be part of a local community of Catholic believers and be able to participate in rehabilitative services that go beyond your drug addiction and help you re-integrate into society with new life and job skills.

You may also join a residential program or sober living community near your preferred place of worship or find one that aligns with your beliefs. Additionally, the Catholic church may support an aftercare program in your area.

Where Can You Find Catholic Rehab Centers Near You?

The Catholic Church has many options for rehab centers in the U.S., which means that if you wish to locate a treatment facility that honors your Catholic beliefs for yourself or family members, you should be able to do so.

Some of the top websites to help you with your search are:

Find Catholic Drug and Alcohol Rehab Options

The first few steps into rehab can feel big and heavy. And locating a Catholic-based rehab center near you may feel impossible. can help with our pre-vetted database and helpline, both of which are available 24/7.

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