There are many different types of recovery centers; however, they all have one common goal: to help people recover from their addictions. Religion/spirituality and recovery have always been intersected. Bill W., the co-founder of Alcoholics’ Anonymous, was inspired to start the program based on the Quaker Movement, where people sat around in a circle and shared their thoughts on their religious beliefs. Dr. Bob, the other co-founder, stresses that the program was a spiritual, not a religious program that can benefit anyone regardless of their beliefs. While your Higher Power in recovery can be anything, Christian Recovery Centers are based on the Christian concept of the Higher Power, which consists of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and the related expectations of Christians. Therefore, those who subscribe to that concept of the Higher Power and the Christian religion will benefit most from a Christian Recovery Center.
The Christian approach to recovery was common when Alcoholics’ Anonymous was founded in 1935, when the majority of America was either Protestant or Catholic. Today, America is still strongly influenced by Christianity. Since many people find comfort in Christianity, Christian Recovery Centers have emerged, and can work well for those who wish to be in one.
How to Know If a Christian Recovery Center is Right for You
• The Christian Concept of the Higher Power and Expectations Sit Well With You
Christian recovery centers will center around incorporating the Christian concept of the Higher Power as a tool for your recovery. In addition, certain moral issues (e.g. sexuality, money, church attendance, etc.) may be frequently brought up in discussions and enforced in the rehab center (e.g. sleeping areas segregated by sex, revealing clothing or makeup being banned, and being required to attend church services). If you are comfortable with all of that or at least taking what you can use and leaving the rest, you will benefit a lot more than if you are vehemently opposed to that concept of the Higher Power and those type of rules and expectations.
• You Believe in the Bible as an Authoritative Text
While other literature (e.g. The Big Book of Alcoholics’ Anonymous) will also be used, the Bible will be the central text of the program. Most likely, the program will use a recovery-based version of the Bible that uses a newer translation and includes notes positing out how certain sections relate to recovery and related issues. If you believe that the Bible is true or valid, a Christian Recovery Center should be beneficial for you. However, everyone interprets the Bible a certain way and believes in different parts of it, and Christian Recovery Centers may have a more literal and/or conservative interpretation of it. If you tend to have a more liberal interpretation of the Bible or only take the universal truths out of it, you may need to inquire about that before you are admitted to ensure that you are comfortable.
• You Feel Including Christianity in Your Recovery Can Benefit it
Some people may wish to keep their religion and recovery separate because they feel that their recovery merely needs to be based on evidence-based therapy, but if you are one those people that really wants Christianity involved in their recovery, you will definitely benefit from a Christian Recovery center that you are comfortable with.
Make Sure You are the One Who Wants to Go to a Christian Recovery Center
In order for recovery to be successful, you must want recovery and want the services you are utilizing. Do not feel pressured by family members, who may be footing the bill, or friends, who may have had Christian Recovery Centers work for them. If your family is pressuring you, tell them you will not benefit from it because you will not be mentally present even though you are physically present and that your recovery has to be completely your own choice for it to work. If your family refuses to pay for anything other than a Christian recovery center, there are resources (e.g. treatment scholarships, state-funded treatment centers, health insurance, etc.) that you can turn to find your own treatment. Recovery is also individual, so what worked for a friend or your group of friends may not be right for you.
Overall, Christian Recovery Centers are an excellent option if you desire to attend one. They integrate Christianity with evidence-based therapy. Not all Christian Recovery Centers are the same, and no Christian Recovery Center is one-size-fits all. However, their mission is all the same: help people get into recovery using Christianity.
If you are interested in a Christian Recovery Center, contact one today at 833-762-3739.