How Faith-Based Rehab Can Help Those Struggling With Addiction
Between March 2020 and 2021, 96,779 deaths occurred due to drug overdose. The stress during and after the COVID-19 pandemic took an obvious toll on our nation’s collective mental health. In fact, overdose deaths during that period are over 36% higher than the previous annual high. These harrowing statistics show that drug and alcohol addiction is a significant challenge facing Americans today more than ever.
If you, or someone you love, struggle with mental health concerns or substance abuse, it is crucial to seek the proper treatment before it’s too late. A great option on your recovery journey is a faith-based treatment program.
Keep reading to learn more.
What Is a Faith-Based Rehab Center?
A faith-based rehab center offers treatment and support for those battling alcohol and drug addiction, just like a typical rehab center. A faith-based treatment center differs from a traditional center because it focuses on the individual’s religious beliefs as a primary aid in their treatment program.
Rehab programs typically focus on the mental and physical aspects of recovery. A faith-based center does the same, but with the crucial addition of spirituality.
Putting faith at the center of your sobriety will provide crucial strength and guidance during recovery. Reliance on a higher power allows one to see that some problems are too big to manage alone. The peace that comes from faith in a higher power can be one of the greatest assets to long-term sobriety.
Frequently during drug and alcohol abuse, an individual becomes alienated from their faith. The underlying issues that drove them to drink and drug in the first place may have strained the relationship. Traumatic events, like the loss of a loved one, may make them question the loving nature of their God. Faith-based treatment helps patients address these issues and return to their faith through recovery.
Even the popular alcohol addiction program Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) lists several steps in their program that pertain to reliance on a higher power during the recovery process. This shows that, for many, faith and recovery are intrinsically linked.
Let’s review the steps of AA as an example of how spirituality works in recovery.
What Are the 12 Steps of Recovery?
At every AA meeting, participants practice the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The 12 steps are posted in every meeting room as well as in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, which is their guidebook. The steps are:
- Admit that you are powerless and that alcohol addiction has made your life unmanageable.
- Believe that a Higher Power can restore the sanity you lost during addiction.
- Make a decision to let that Higher Power guide your life in recovery.
- Identify the actions that you have taken to hurt yourself and others.
- Admit those wrongdoings to your Higher Power and sponsor.
- Acknowledge that you are ready to have that Higher Power remove those shortcomings.
- Ask your Higher Power to remove those shortcomings.
- Make a list of the people you have wronged with your behavior.
- Make amends to those people whenever possible to attempt to right wrongs.
- Keep an ongoing inventory of your behaviors and make amends when you are in the wrong.
- Stay connected to your Higher Power through prayer and meditation.
- Reach a place of spiritual awakening that allows you to carry the message to others who are still struggling.
For many, God is the central focus of their recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous. However, the program itself does not require any specific religious practice. Most often, the term Higher Power is used in the meetings and literature. This allows for all spiritualities, faiths, and denominations to participate. Whatever the Higher Power is, it is a non-negotiable aspect of their recovery program. Additionally, those who complete the 12 steps become sponsors, or mentors, to others in the program.
What Are the Main Causes of Addiction?
Drug and alcohol addiction doesn’t happen overnight. Frequently, underlying issues lead an individual to a place where they require treatment. Understanding the cause of addiction and mental health concerns can help pinpoint triggers and determine the proper treatment method.
Concerning the psychological and spiritual aspects, addressing the root cause of addiction can prevent future relapse. Addiction is different for everyone. Circumstances and lived experiences are never cookie-cutter. However, there are some prominent commonalities identified with addiction.
Drug addiction, or Substance Use Disorder, is a disease defined by an individual’s mental and physical dependency on illicit or prescription drugs. These dependencies tremendously impact the addicted person’s health and ability to function in society. Although there are some “high-functioning” addicts out there, sooner or later, they all land at a similar rock bottom.
Drug misuse starts for many reasons, but environmental and genetic elements are at play.
Environmental factors could include exposure to drugs from peer groups. It can only come from the home. Some family beliefs, pressure, or lack of parental involvement can also play a role. The influence can be dramatic and life-threatening when a family member offers or uses illicit substances.
There are those, too, who are genetically predisposed to drug addiction. This can make drug use more commonplace within the family, potentially desensitizing family members to the consequence of its use.
Mental health issues can also increase the likelihood of drug use and addiction. Individuals with ADHD, anxiety, or depression may use drugs to cope with their symptoms. Self-medication is extremely common among people who aren’t getting the proper mental health support. If an individual finds relief from their pain, it is difficult to turn away from their “solution” regardless of the consequences.
Childhood trauma, abuse, or PTSD can also make it difficult to function. They may experience flashbacks of the event or be too afraid to leave the house. Those who experience trauma may engage in destructive behaviors like drug addiction to manage these feelings.
Alcohol addiction can result from many of the same issues as drug addiction, like environment and mental health. Alcoholism tends to run in families, with children of alcoholics being much more likely to develop a dependency. Trauma and mental health issues also play a role.
Early exposure to alcohol influences an individual’s habits and what they consider “normal.” Drinking alcohol at a young age can lead to addiction later. Peer pressure and social factors surrounding alcohol can impact heavy drinking habits.
Individuals with alcohol addiction can’t have “just one.” Whether or not it was intentional, the first drink will spiral them into their typical drinking routine.
Binge drinking is a particularly concerning disorder because it involves drinking excessive amounts of alcohol only on certain days, giving the illusion of control. If someone doesn’t drink daily, they aren’t an alcoholic, right? Wrong. Binge drinking is absolutely a form of alcoholism, and although the physical dependency is less or non-existent, the health and social consequences are just as damaging.
Alcohol addiction also carries the potential for further abuse. When the alcohol isn’t giving the desired effect, it is typical for prescription pills or other illicit substances to be included. Prescription pills and alcohol are a deadly combination. The compound effects of medication with alcohol can easily lead to overdose.
What Does a Faith-Based Rehab Center Offer?
Faith-based rehab centers create a community of like-minded individuals suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. The inclusion of faith helps to bring people together. Group therapy sessions let patients know they are not alone in their struggles.
Bonding through faith is an integral part of the recovery process. The shared commonality of faith provides a supportive environment for people to be honest and open about their relationships with themselves, their addiction, and their Higher Power. Even if they have experienced setbacks or relapses, patients are in a space with no shame or judgment.
A faith-based rehab allows individuals to practice their faith freely as a part of the recovery process. Designated spaces for prayer and worship enable patients to connect with their belief system in whatever way they choose.
If a person wants to participate in meditation sessions as a way to connect with their spirituality, they can incorporate that into their treatment plan. Others may want to connect through solo or group scripture readings as a part of their treatment. All options are encouraged and supported in this environment.
Why Should You Choose a Faith-Based Rehab Center?
An estimated 73% of rehab centers in the U.S. offer some form of spiritual or faith-based treatment. This fact shows the enormous power faith can have in the addiction treatment process. The presence of God or a Higher Power in the treatment plan of so many reinforces that addiction is aided by spiritual practice. In fact, 84% of scientific research studies have shown that a faith practice positively affects addiction recovery. The study also indicates that having active faith can prevent addiction in the first place.
Accounting for faith allows an individual to better address the issues that may have led them to use drugs and alcohol in the first place. Since faith is an integral part of many peoples’ lives, removing it from the recovery process would be illogical.
It is commonplace for religious leaders to use group and one-on-one counseling sessions to help support their congregation. They use these methods to encourage open and honest communication. These methods also work in a rehabilitation setting. We facilitate the same group and one-on-one therapy sessions to great success for our patients.
The inclusion of faith-based treatment allows for a holistic approach to recovery that includes mind, body, and spirit, whereas traditional treatment centers only focus on the first two.
Whether Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, or anything in-between, a faith-based rehab center can benefit you. Whatever your beliefs, you can find a tailored program to address your needs. If you’ve tried standard rehab centers with no long-term results, a faith-based center may be the right choice.
Get the Help You Need at Sunshine Care Centers
If you or a loved one is suffering from mental health concerns or addiction to drugs or alcohol, Sunshine Care Centers is here to help. Recovery is difficult, but you don’t have to go it alone. Sunshine Care Centers have a highly trained staff with over 30yrs experience. We offer faith-based rehab services to suit your specific needs. We offer a host of therapeutic modalities, including EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, music therapy, and more.
Don’t wait to receive the help you deserve.