Is a Faith-Based or Spiritual Rehab Program Right For You?

Last updated on June 4th, 2020

Are There Spiritual Treatment Programs?

People of strong faith may be particularly hard on themselves when dealing with addiction problems. If you have a lot of faith but have unable to stop using substances, you may feel that you’ve disappointed God. The good news is that there are spiritual rehab centers that can help you strengthen your relationship with God and quit abusing drugs or alcohol.

What Are Faith-Based Rehabilitation Centers?

Religious rehab facilities approach alcohol and drug addiction from a spiritual perspective. These centers may view your addiction as an attempt to compensate for an inner sense of spiritual emptiness; they teach you how to strengthen your spiritual foundation in order to help you abstain from drugs and alcohol.

In most cases, spiritual rehab centers provide the same therapy and tools to help you stay sober as non-spiritual facilities. These are known as evidence-based treatment approaches—therapeutic techniques with research to support their effectiveness.1 The difference is that faith-based rehabilitation centers also teach spiritual principles and view your relationship with God as an important aspect of healing, while secular facilities may not.

Advantages of Going to a Religious Rehab Center

Faith-Based Rehabilitation

If your religious faith is important to you, a religious rehabilitation facility may be more helpful to you than a secular facility. Faith-based rehab centers will operate from the same core values that are important to you, which can help you feel more supported as you seek healing from your addiction.

You’ll be able to talk to staff about your religious or spiritual concerns as well as your psychological and physical needs, which can be helpful if you are trying to forgive yourself or seek forgiveness from God for the way you behaved while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

A secondary advantage of going through a spiritual rehab program is that everybody in the program holds similar spiritual beliefs. This provides fellowship with other believers who are going through the same trials that you are. This can help strengthen your faith and allow you to realize that many people who believe in God struggle with drug and alcohol addiction.

You can also help support and inspire other people who are going through the program. You may be able to maintain this fellowship with group members after you leave rehab. Some religious people find that this helps give meaning to their struggle with alcohol and drugs; they feel like they were chosen by God to help others who are suffering. As people embark on recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, many view their difficulties as part of God’s plan for them.

Do You Need to Have a Particular Religious Belief?

Most spiritual rehab programs are designed for people who already have a particular religious

Most spiritual rehab programs are designed for people who already have a particular religious belief. For example, Christian rehab centers approach recovery from a Christian perspective, helping believers to strengthen their relationship with Christ in order to overcome addiction. There are many different faith-based rehabilitation programs out there, so you are likely to find one that adheres to the teachings of your religious or spiritual beliefs.

Some programs combine secular and religious practices. Everybody in the program participates in therapy sessions and other types of treatment, and then those who want to can also participate in the religious aspects of the program.

If you feel you want more of a spiritual connection but are not yet sure what you believe, these types of religious rehab programs might be ideal for you. They give you the chance to explore your spirituality while working on recovering from alcohol or drug addiction so you can develop a stronger spiritual connection at the same time you get clean and sober.

What to Look for in a Spiritual Rehab Program

There are some things that any good rehab program will offer you, regardless of whether it’s spiritually based or not. You should make sure that the programs you’re considering offer these things as well as the spiritual practices that are important to you. Here are some things to consider when evaluating faith-based rehabilitation programs:

What treatment options are offered?

Most rehab programs offer some type of group and individual counseling to participants as well as the opportunity to participate in 12-step groups. You may also have the opportunity to have some counseling sessions with members of your family. Find out what treatment options the program offers and what principles the counseling sessions are based on. In a spiritual rehab program, counseling should have a spiritual foundation in addition to being based on psychological principles.

Is aftercare planning provided?

Most people need some additional support after they finish rehab so they can continue using the new tools and techniques that they learned while in the facility. Make sure that the spiritual rehab facility you go to offers aftercare themselves or will help you plan for outside aftercare programs so you aren’t left hanging after you graduate from the program.

What is the faith basis?

Not all religious rehab centers are alike. Some may subscribe to a different faith or set of beliefs than you do. It’s important to take the time to find out exactly what spiritual principles the rehab center operates on before you begin a program. If you disagree with the spiritual basis, you won’t feel comfortable and you won’t get as much out of the program.

How does the program incorporate spiritual principles?

In addition to being comfortable with the program’s spiritual foundation, you need to be comfortable with the way a spiritual rehab program incorporates faith-based principles into the treatment plan. Some programs might require attendance at prayer services, while others might take a broader view of faith-based rehabilitation. Either way, you should feel comfortable with the way the program operates.

How to Find a Faith-Based Rehabilitation Facility

The best way to find a rehab center is to ask for recommendations from people who share your faith. Start by talking one-on-one with your pastor, minister or rabbi. Your religious leader can guide you towards a spiritual rehab program that aligns with your spiritual beliefs. One-on-one conversations with religious leaders are usually confidential, so you should feel comfortable asking for this kind of help.

There are high-quality rehabs all over the country that specialize in religious and faith-based treatment for addictions.

Trust that you will be able to find the help you need to overcome addiction and let your spiritual beliefs support you as you seek assistance with your addiction problems. With appropriate treatment at a spiritual rehab center, you can overcome your addiction and eventually help other people who are suffering.


1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction.
2. Timmons, S.M. (2012). A Christian faith-based recovery theory: understanding God as sponsor. Journal of religion and health, 51(4), 1152-1164.

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