Entries tagged with “Faith-based Rehab”.


Overcoming addiction requires a strong support system. Faith-based recovery programs are rooted in the belief that there’s no greater source of support than God himself.

Faith-Based Recovery vs. Traditional Rehab Programs
Faith-based recovery programs take a holistic approach to addiction recovery. They treat addiction as a disease that affects the body, mind, and spirit. Key principles behind this approach include:

  • An exploration of one’s spirituality is seen as a way to promote peace and connection.
  • Participants are encouraged to trust God to provide the support they need to begin the healing process.
  • Instead of being greeted with shame or judgement, participants are urged to practice self-compassion and forgiveness.
  • Letting go of the past is the only way to work towards a brighter future.
  • God is powerful and all knowing, but individual human beings aren’t expected to have their lives all figured out. Past mistakes are simply part of your personal journey.

Faith-based recovery programs encourage participants to explore their relationship with God through meditation, prayer, reflection, and Bible study. They are guided and encouraged to find a personal way to connect with a higher power for strength and emotional support.

Participants in faith-based recovery program still receive counseling, nutrition education, stress management support, and evidence-based treatment for any co-occurring disorders. The only difference is that the exploration of one’s spirituality is integrated throughout every step of the treatment process.

Benefits of Faith-Based Recovery
No one type of substance abuse treatment program is right for everyone. Every addicted person has their own unique challenges when it comes to understanding the roots of their addiction. However, some of the benefits of a faith-based recovery include:

  • A less selfish and self-seeking world outlook
  • Fewer feelings of self-pity and regret over past decisions
  • Healing past emotional wounds
  • Confidence in your ability to handle situations that might trigger the urge to drink or use drugs
  • A renewed sense of hope and purpose
  • A connection to a supportive group of likeminded individuals

Preventing Relapse
One common concern people have when seeking any substance abuse treatment is whether the program will prevent relapse. Faith-based recovery programs work to reduce the risk of relapse by educating participants in the 5 Ps of recovery:

Purpose: Setting actionable goals and working towards dreams gives those in recovery the motivation to continue despite obstacles.
Practice: Changing your brain’s response to stressful situations and embracing healthier behavior patterns is a skill that takes practice, much like learning to play a musical instrument or speak a foreign language.
Perseverance: Sobriety requires patience. It doesn’t happen immediately. Rather, the recovery process is a journey taken one day at a time.
Pray: Asking a higher power for guidance and wisdom combats feelings of weakness. Prayer can serve as a powerful way to cope with addiction triggers.
Praise: Focusing on positive accomplishments instead of dwelling on past mistakes robs addiction of its power. Expressing gratitude for one’s blessings also serves to provide a sense of perspective.

Participants in faith-based recovery programs often begin attending regular worship services in their communities after they’re discharged from treatment. This helps build a social connection that combats the loneliness and isolation that drives addiction.

Determining If a Faith-Based Recovery Program Is Right for You
St. Joseph Institute is a Christian non-denominal program that’s not connected to any church or religious organization. Anyone who wants to discover how deepening their faith can help them face the challenge of clean and sober living is welcome. It doesn’t matter if you’ve actively attended worship services your entire life or if you’re just now expressing the desire to explore your spirituality. To learn more, please call 888-727-4465.


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People often ask us “what does faith-based mean?”  “Does it mean that you will be preaching at me?”  “Will I be welcome if I don’t participate in organized religion?” “Can you help me re-connect with my faith?”

These are important questions.  In a world where all-to-often we see people seeking to impose their beliefs on others, it is easy to become apprehensive.  When we hear of people claiming to have all of the answers, we become suspect.  When people are condemned or ridiculed because they do not know what to believe, we fear rejection.

Addiction Recovery through Spiritual HealingHopefully, none of these attitudes or actions will be evident at St. Joseph Institute for Addiction.  We want to help people grow spiritually – discover a sense of purpose and meaning for their lives – but we believe this is a journey that each person must travel on their own.  We encourage, we provide information and we share what works for us, but we believe each person must have the freedom to find his or her own answers.

St. Joseph Institute for Addiction is built on a Christian faith tradition.  We believe there is a God and he cares deeply for each of us.  We believe that Jesus has shown us the path by which to live, love, and find meaning & purpose for life.  We believe that if Christianity is to be real, it must guide the way we live and treat one another day-by-day.

St. Joseph Institute for Addiction is non-denominational.  We do not advocate the teachings of a specific church or theology.  There are many Christian traditions and we seek to draw wisdom from many places.  When we discuss forgiveness, we may recount the teachings of the early church fathers, who lived centuries ago.  If we talk about the need for humility in achieving lasting recovery, we may share the words of Andrew Murray, a protestant minister in South Africa.  At Christmas time we adopt a carol for each day, drawing upon Catholic, Episcopal, Baptist, Lutheran and many other traditions. We encourage our residents to discover the place of worship that feels right for them.

In welcoming people of different backgrounds and beliefs, we do not judge or condemn.  We encourage people to find the answers that will guide their life and give them peace.  It is not for us to judge lifestyles, or condemn the choices people have made.  We educate, share the solutions that have helped others, and help people find a better way when their past actions have led to dead-ends.  Very importantly, we challenge people to allow their spiritual self to heal and grow – for all too often addiction shatters that aspect of who they are.

A story is told of St. Francis who lived in the thirteenth century.  Hundreds of friars had joined his community of believers, and he gathered them together and provided instruction before they spread out across Italy.  The commission he gave them was “go forth and spread the gospel, and when necessary use words.”

The message is that faith is most powerful when it is lived.  I hope that our residents see in the staff of St. Joseph Institute for Addiction a spirit of compassion & concern, a sincere commitment to their healing, and a desire to help them grow to experience more of life’s joy and happiness.  If we do our best in this regard, then we are truly Christian.


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In the next several blogs we’ll discuss connections between the Stations of the Cross and the stages of addiction. The first Station is about Jesus’ condemnation to death; just like many addicts, He felt a sense of abandonment and rejection.

Station 1: Abandonment and RejectionMany people have life experiences which cause them to feel abandoned or rejected. These feelings are deep and penetrating, and can be so extreme that they cause a condition known as reactive attachment disorder; when a person learns to feel unwanted and unloved. Millions of children grow up with this condition due to neglect and/or abuse from their parents. This emotional emptiness can manifest as an underlying factor that causes a person to seek comfort and consolation for their pain by using drugs or drinking alcohol. Without some sort of psychological or spiritual intervention to heal these early wounds, the comfort they find in alcohol or drugs may turn into an addiction.

Other people experience abandonment and rejection during later periods of life. Some people are tormented because of a learning disability, speech impediment, lack of coordination, physical impairment, inferior socioeconomic status, etc. Others face challenges such as betrayal by a friend, breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend, divorce, failure in work or school, and most commonly, the death of a loved one. The list goes on and on. Nearly every person suffering from addiction has a story rejection or abandonment.

 

Here’s a quick story about a resident who recently came to St. Joseph Institute. Names have been changed but all other details are true:

Brad was a guy who had everything going for him up until a year before he entered addiction treatment. At admission he was confused about how he’d gotten into such a devastating downward spiral. Most of his life had been happy and fulfilling; he had a good job, owned his own home and was engaged to be married. He had all the elements of a successful life, and yet, he had developed an opiate addiction that he couldn’t stop.

His story was quite mysterious until he had his first bodywork session when we began to discuss the recent death of his best friend, Dave. Brad had discussed this loss previously and thought it had been resolved. But what we discovered while unwinding the deep, restricted patterns in his core was that the grief he felt from his friend’s loss was far more intense and complicated than he had understood.

Dealing with AddictionDuring childhood Dave and Brad had been so close that he described their relationship as being more like brothers than friends. They did everything together, and remained close during elementary school, high school and college. Then Dave entered military service and went overseas on a tour of duty. When Dave returned he was distinctly changed. He was distant and they no longer talked or had fun together. Brad was confused and hurt, and felt rejected by his best friend. He simply could not reach Dave.

Tragically, Dave took his own life. Brad felt an immense sense of mental anguish and torment.

As we continued his therapy and bodywork sessions, we discussed the traumatic effects of war and how it can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Brad was slowly able to make sense of Dave’s odd behavior after returning from active duty and his eventual suicide. In addition, he was able to see how Dave’s war trauma had created trauma in his own life – like a domino effect. Brad’s grief had started with Dave’s return from military service, then continued to increase while he watched his friend suffer from PTSD – a condition that neither one of them recognized nor understood. After Dave’s suicide, Brad’s depression was exacerbated further when he was struck by the reality that his lifelong companion would not be standing next to him as the best man at his wedding. Brad closed down in his relationship with his fiancé, just like Dave had closed down in his relationship with Brad.

Discussing these issues revealed a whole new perspective to Brad and allowed him to release the trauma from his core. Brad realized his fiancé was experiencing losing him emotionally, just as he had experienced losing Dave. He left treatment sober, with the goal of honoring Dave by remaining open with his new bride and beginning their marriage with happiness and honesty. It has now been 9 months, 14 days and Brad remains sober… and happily married.

 

By Michael Campbell


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