Drug treatment is as personal as your experience of addiction. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to embarking on your journey to healing – nor should there be. Fortunately, practitioners have gotten wise to this fact and have created a multitude of drug treatment options. From inpatient to residential to outpatient programs, each offers something different, with the intent of creating that just-right fit for like-minded individuals – medically-based, holistic and, increasingly, faith-based.
Christian drug treatment caters to those who hold the similar beliefs, though it is certainly not a requirement for admission. Most drug treatment centers that advertise as Christian are completely open to accepting anyone who wants to come; treatment programs are simply designed to include Christian principles. For those unfamiliar with modern-day Christian approaches to addiction treatment, here are some of the basics.
How is Christian Drug Treatment Different from Non-Faith-Based Treatment?
The obvious answer is that it incorporates Christian principles and “techniques”, for lack of a better word, into traditional drug treatment. But what does that mean? Figuring this out is where most people come up short.
In general, Christian drug treatment seeks to help patients reclaim the aspects of their spiritual connections that they may have forsaken for their addiction and use it as a significant tool in getting them into recovery and keeping them there.
This might translate into practical terms by beginning and ending group therapy with a prayer. Indeed, “prayer therapy” is a key component to Christian drug treatment. Additionally, in groups, someone may want to pray for another patient, and this is accepted and supported. Prayer is likely to be a tool in individual and family therapies as well; therapists may encourage patients to make prayer an integral part of their day as a source of strength and peace.
You may not understand why prayer is something that is useful in drug treatment; many understand prayer to be akin to wishing or hoping – certainly not a scientifically solid tool. However, Christians view prayer as their connection to, their form of communication with God or Jesus. As such, prayer is a means to access the patient’s Higher Power, a cornerstone of 12-step theory.
In fact, 12-step principles are generally adopted into Christian drug treatment for that very reason. Acknowledging a personal inability to overcome the addiction, while relying on God for strength to do so follows most Christian theology very closely. Naturally, Christians identify their Higher Power as God or Jesus. And it is this connection which often provides a sense of identity, peace, strength and unconditional love.
This last point can be a really clincher for those fighting addiction. Very often, they have experienced many conditions on the love they might receive from family and friends, especially when they are using (sometimes this is simply healthy boundary-setting, but that’s not what we’re talking about here), in addition to great deal of judgment. To allow themselves to accept a God who loves them even with their addiction can be a major turning point in their treatment. And prayer is the primary conduit through which these transformative experiences can take place.
In addition to prayer, while in Christian drug treatment – particularly in the inpatient or residential settings – attending church is often part of the program. Some sites have a chapel on the same campus as the treatment program, while others make a trip to a local church to attend regular services. This element of gathering together with like-minded people provides a larger community in which the patient can be embraced and supported.
Becoming connected in a church can also provide alternative activities to drug use once the patient leaves drug treatment. This component can be particularly challenging for many people who are preparing to transition from the treatment setting – often a protective cocoon – to the big, scary world on the “outside”, where all the temptations surrounding using their drug of choice freely roam. To be successful, you can’t just take something out of your life – engaging in your addiction – without replacing it with something else, preferably more healthy and constructive. Church services, small groups, activities and special events can serve this function of filling that newly opened space very well.
A final factor that makes Christian drug treatment unique is that many programs offer low-cost or no-cost treatment. This is made possible when the program functions as a ministry, the financial burden of which is offset by benefactors of some sort – people who wish to contribute to a faith-based charity or members of the organization that runs the program.
Fortunately, for anyone seeking drug treatment who wants Christian principles and beliefs to play a major role, the choices are expanding. Christian treatment centers continue to open throughout the country, and options for Christian-based drug and alcohol support groups are even more plentiful – chances are you can find one at your local church on nearly any given day or evening.
To get connected to a Christian drug treatment program, call today to speak with a drug treatment consultant.