What Is Faith-Based Treatment?

Faith-Based Treatment is especially impactful on those with a strong spiritual or religious belief. Faith is one of the most important elements of addiction recovery, as it encourages spiritual transformation. Some people in recovery have a lack of faith and an unfulfilling relationship to a higher power, contributing to feelings of hopelessness and depression. People who are are dependent on alcohol commonly suffer depression and feel alone, and many find that faith-based treatment is critical to their recovery.

Over 400 scientific journals reveal faith-based treatments have moderate to high success when compared to non-spiritual treatments. Studies also reveal people who are more religious or people who have a spiritual practice are less likely to relapse in recovery.

Faith-based treatment includes aspects of:

  • A belief in one’s self
  • Trust in life
  • Confidence in a higher power
  • Trusting in each moment
  • Confidence in the ability to live substance-free
  • Belief in religious ideals
  • Believing in one’s capacity to achieve change
  • Believing in other’s ability to help

Feelings of emptiness, longing, and lack of fulfillment can create a deep need to use alcohol. Living a life of meaning by forming or maintaining a relationship with a higher power gives the patient new hope and positive focus that is useful for mental, spiritual, and emotional healing.

Spirituality and faith are subjective experiences that explore an individual’s relationship with a higher power or belief system that includes a higher power and moral code. These practices also include daily exercises, such as meditation and prayer, which can greatly impact one’s perspective on life, negative habits, and emotions.

What Therapies Are Offered In Faith-Based Treatment?

Faith-based treatment offers therapies with a focus on spirituality, compassion, purposeful living, and acceptance. These forms of therapy allow the patient to harness forgiveness for self and others, effectively developing the self-awareness needed for recovery. Mindfulness training, for example, demonstrates how patients can reflect on distress and how they can manage difficult emotions. Yoga and meditation can accompany faith-based treatments for non-denominational and secular patients to achieve growth and connection.

Many faith-based treatments acknowledge patients who practice specific religions. Christian-based themes for Christian patients, such as Christ-centered worship are available in many facilities. Many treatment facilities also include church visits, scripture reading, devotionals, and pastor visits.

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How Can Faith-Based Recovery Help Maintain Sobriety?

In inpatient treatment facilities, patients attend support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Several of the 12-Steps made famous by  Alcoholics Anonymous acknowledge the existence of a higher power that is central to admittance, accountability, and addiction recovery. This belief in a higher power can also provide the patient with a new state of consciousness. The 12 Steps for Alcoholics Anonymous mention a higher power in the following steps:

  • Step 2: “Coming to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
  • Step 3: “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
  • Step 6: “We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
  • Step 7: “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”
  • Step 11: “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
  • Step 12: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

The 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous also encourage surrender to a loving God and express the notion of spiritual awakenings people can experience.

Sponsors of patients in recovery encourage them to connect or discover a spiritual path or sense of faith. This path can be of any religion or spiritual background, but reinforces empowerment from external sources for patients to connect with. Having faith in a one’s self and a higher power also eliminates anxiety and stress, as the patient knows they are supported. Faith-based treatment also encourages a sense of community. Patients bond with people in recovery who have similar spiritual and/or religious practices.

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How Do I Choose A Faith-Based Treatment Facility?

Choosing a faith-based treatment could depend on whether you define yourself as religious or spiritual. Religious people in recovery who follow the Jewish faith may not be comfortable practicing meditations with Hindu chants, and instead, can focus on finding Jewish-themed facilities. Patients can also ask themselves:

  • Does this facility offer church/mosque/synagogue/temple visits?
  • Which religions does a facility cater to?
  • Are patients interfaith or strictly belonging to one religion?
  • Are there both religious and spiritual therapies offered?
  • Which location is best for me?
  • Are there flexible financial options available?
  • Are outpatient programs available?

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Many facilities cater to patients from a variety of religious faiths, taking into account their spiritual backgrounds. If you or a loved one needs help overcoming a alcohol abuse disorder and believe that faith-based treatment would benefit you, contact a treatment provider today.

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