Traditional 12-Step addiction recovery programs have been around for decades, so what is different about a Christian addiction recovery program? Is it more effective than traditional recovery programs?
A 2019 study reviewed the importance of faith in an individual’s recovery from substance abuse, and the findings spoke for themselves. In the conclusion, the study said “religion and religious participation can address the many issues that lead people to alcohol and/or drug dependency that medical interventions alone can fail to address.” What’s more, the study determined that those who relied on their faith in God actually healed faster.
Why might this be?
Treating the Whole Person
When you think about addiction, it is easy to focus on the physical, mental, and emotional toll it takes on the person. But what about spiritually? A Christian addiction recovery program recognizes our addictions as a spiritual yearning, a yearning for something more than we can find or fill within ourselves.
Just like traditional rehabs or recovery programs, a Christian recovery program addresses the physical, mental, and emotional health of the addicted person. But it doesn’t stop there! Treating the whole person, and the true root of their suffering, includes assessing their spiritual need and its link to the addiction.
“For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” ~1 John 2:16-17 (ESV)
Identity = Who God Says You Are
Rather than identify as addicts, a Christian recovery program encourages identifying ourselves by what the Bible says about us and how God sees us. Instead of focusing on our addict-like behaviors, we recognize that we are inherently individuals struggling to find fulfillment and belonging, and it is only God who can give us what we seek.
In the same way, we believe true healing comes from hearing and understanding the truths of the Bible: How God is the only true source of life, and that He loves us and wants us to know Him. As a result, we surrender ourselves to be molded and shaped into the person God says we already are in His eyes – blameless and a new creation.
Focus & Hope Found in Christ
A Christian curriculum also focuses on the future, including building a new foundation for how we see the world. In traditional 12-Step programs, the focus is often holding fast to the group’s traditions and subjective truths.
For example, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is known as a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they might solve their common problems. A Christian curriculum, on the other hand, depends on the belief in the Gospel of Christ and God’s supernatural work in our lives despite our best efforts.
“Then you, being rooted and grounded in love, will have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. To Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory …” ~Ephesians 3:17b-20 (BSB)
Our team at S2L Recovery understands the seriousness of taking the first step toward recovery. We also know each person recovers from their addiction in a personalized, unique way. Our approach is from a foundational faith-based framework, but our addiction recovery program is not exclusive to Christians; we welcome anyone. Learn more today.