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Faith-Based Addiction Recovery

An estimated 75% of Americans consider themselves religious, with roughly two-thirds identifying as part of the Christian faith alone. With drug addiction rates remaining steady and an opioid crisis raging, many people dealing with substance use disorder feel called to turn to a faith-based drug or alcohol rehab center to help them overcome their addiction. While Christian-based rehab tends to be more common (likely due to the larger population of self-identifying Christians), there are many other religiously-led addiction programs available for all different beliefs.

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What Is Faith-Based Addiction Recovery?

Faith-based treatment programs combine traditional substance abuse treatment alongside particular religious beliefs. Counselors and therapists at faith-based treatment centers focus on addiction treatment alongside teachings and wisdom from their faith.

For instance, a Christian rehab program may include bible study and inviting God to participate in a person’s healing. A Jewish treatment facility may utilize the teachings of the Torah to illustrate the importance of sober living in a way that ties into Jewish beliefs.

Why Might Someone Seek Faith-Based Addiction Recovery?

For someone dealing with drug or alcohol addiction (i.e., substance use disorder), a faith-based approach can offer a specialized perspective that aligns with their deeply held beliefs.

In some ways, a faith-based approach fills in some gaps and can help people address some of the issues behind what led to their drug or alcohol abuse. For others, it provides accountability and atonement for drug abuse and addiction in a like-minded community.

How Does Faith-Based Recovery Help with Addiction?

Faith-based addiction recovery programs use the spiritual side to encourage recovery and continued sobriety in the recovering addict. Research even indicates that faith-based treatment plans may offer increased success for those battling with alcohol or drug addictions.

For example, in a 2019 study, researchers discovered that 82% of patients who described having a “spiritual awakening” during their addiction recovery journey were still sober one year into the recovery process.

Alternatively, only 55% of recovering addicts who did NOT have any spiritual aspect of recovery remained sober for one full year.

Research suggests that faith-based recovery programs can offer the following benefits:

  • Similar Values: Being surrounded—and supported—by a group of people who understand your current struggle and share some of your fundamental values and beliefs can be incredibly powerful. Community is essential to addiction recovery, so sharing many of the same values as those in your treatment program can make you feel right at home.
  • Accountability: In many cases, the religious doctrines of various faiths warn against “sins” or other mistakes, such as falling into addiction or substance abuse. A team of people supporting you and asking you to be accountable for your mistakes can help you stay on the right path, avoid relapse, and remain sober.
  • Overcoming Shame: On the other hand, many people of various faiths may feel great shame or guilt about their substance abuse or addiction. While accountability and acceptance are important parts of the recovery journey, a faith-based community also offers a place where individuals can work through their guilt amongst people who can relate on a deeper level.
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How to Find a Faith-Based Addiction Treatment Program

You can speak with someone at your place of worship (church, mosque, temple, etc.) to see if they offer faith-based addiction treatment. You can also ask if they have any affiliated recovery centers or treatment programs they recommend.

Online resources, such as SAMHSA’s Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (FBCI), can be helpful if you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to your place of worship. Since 1992, FCBI has supported mental health, substance abuse, and addiction treatment at the local, state, and national levels.

Faith-Based Rehab and Other Treatment Services

In many ways, faith-based recovery programs will have a very similar treatment structure as any secular rehab program.

Individual programs will vary from facility to facility, so you should research ahead of time to see what is offered at any facility you might be considering.

A basic overview of addiction treatment through a faith-based program might look like this:

  1. Detox: If needed*, the individual may enter a medical detox program (offered at both inpatient and outpatient levels, depending on the person’s needs). During detox, a person in a faith-based program may participate in specialized prayer during this sometimes tough process. *For some, detox isn’t necessary, and they can skip to step two.
  2. Rehab: Addiction rehab comes in many shapes and sizes, and faith-based rehab is no different. Inpatient programs are typically best for those with a more severe addiction or prior history of rehab, while outpatient programs can work for first-timers or those with less severe addiction.
    In both cases, the spiritual offerings available at the rehab center will likely vary based on the individual facility, type of religion, and so on.
  3. Therapy and Aftercare: During and after addiction treatment, patients receive evidence-based therapy (like cognitive-behavioral therapy) through individual and group therapy sessions. These sessions help recovering addicts identify any underlying issues that influenced or caused their addictive behavior in the first place.

After completing rehab, many people choose to continue attending therapy to work on their long-term success and remain active in their overall healing. In some cases, recovering addicts may choose a therapist that offers faith-based therapy, while others may see a secular therapist that still aligns with their recovery goals.

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Faith-Based Aftercare and Support Options

There are a variety of spiritual and faith-based recovery options available to support sober living after treatment.

While many will be specific to a particular religion, they all share the common goal of helping those struggling with substance abuse and addiction.

Some popular faith-based support programs include:

  • 12-Step Programs: Free programs like Alcoholics Anonymous are non-denominational spirituality-based programs based on 12 sequential steps. These programs focus on relying on a higher power to help with recovery but do not require adherence or belief in any particular religion or deity.
  • Christians in Recovery: A Christian drug and alcohol program, Christians in Recovery helps addicts regain balance in their lives through the bible and the 12-step program.
  • Celebrate Recovery: Celebrate Recovery is a Christian-based recovery program incorporating the original 12-step program and biblical scripture.
  • Jewish Addiction Awareness Network: Also known as JAAN, this organization provides resources and tools to help those struggling with addiction in the Jewish community. They provide information on Jewish-specific treatment centers and programs throughout the United States.
  • Alcoholics for Christ: Alcoholics for Christ is an interdenominational, non-profit organization that provides support for not just addicts but also the family members of the addict. The goal is to help the addict and those around them restore their faith in religion.
  • Catholics in Recovery: Catholics in Recovery is a nonprofit organization helping those suffering from all types of addictions, both substance and behavioral. The organization utilizes the 12-step program as well as the sacramental love and mercy of the Catholic Church.
  • Refuge Recovery: Refuge Recovery is a book by bestselling author and renowned Buddhist teacher Noah Levine. In the book, Levine adapts the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path into a proven and systematic approach to recovery.
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Fill out a brief questionnaire tailored to your Christian faith and get matched with a licensed therapist.

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Take Assessment

Find a Nearby Faith-Based Recovery Program

Whether you or a loved one needs help with a substance abuse problem, you can find help that meets your unique needs—including rehab programs and support groups that center around your religious views.

To find faith-based addiction treatment options in your area, call the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-4357 or visit their online program locator.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Faith-Based Addiction Treatment

What is a faith-based addiction program?

Faith-based recovery programs help religious people connect with their higher power to help them overcome their addiction.

How does faith-based rehab help with addiction?

Faith-based recovery programs use the spiritual side to encourage recovery and continued sobriety and remind the patient that they are not alone.

What is a Christian rehabilitation center?

A Christian recovery center is an addiction treatment program that includes Christian teachings alongside its treatment. This can include prayer, bible study, and other facets of Christian teachings.

How do faith-based addiction programs include spirituality in their treatment plans?

Many faith-based addiction treatment programs include religious aspects in their recovery plans, but it can vary based on the center itself or the belief system.

For instance, a Christian center might offer bible study and include prayer before meals; a Jewish center may keep Kosher in their kitchen and center God in group therapy conversations.

Are faith-based addiction treatment centers legitimate forms of addiction treatment?

Absolutely! Faith-based addiction rehab is just like any other rehab center: it is best to find an accredited center that offers the type of treatment you require (e.g., detox services, behavioral therapy, residential care, etc.).

However, a religious addiction treatment program offers the same kinds of benefits as secular rehab while providing a spiritual framework around the treatment process.

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. is a founder of Addiction HelpReviewed by:Kent S. Hoffman, D.O.

Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. has been an expert in addiction medicine for more than 15 years. In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM). Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction. Dr. Hoffman is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of and ensures the website’s medical content and messaging quality.

Jessica Miller is the Content Manager of Addiction HelpWritten by:

Editorial Director

Jessica Miller is the Editorial Director of Addiction Help. Jessica graduated from the University of South Florida (USF) with an English degree and combines her writing expertise and passion for helping others to deliver reliable information to those impacted by addiction. Informed by her personal journey to recovery and support of loved ones in sobriety, Jessica's empathetic and authentic approach resonates deeply with the Addiction Help community.

  1. 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Releases. (2023).
  2. Grant Weinandy, J. T., & Grubbs, J. B. (2021, December 14). Religious and Spiritual Beliefs and Attitudes Towards Addiction and Addiction Treatment: A Scoping Review. National Library of Medicine.
  3. Grim, B. J., & Grim, M. E. (2019, October). Belief, Behavior, and Belonging: How Faith Is Indispensable in Preventing and Recovering from Substance Abuse. Journal of Religion and Health.
  4. Pew Research Center. (2019, October 17). In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace. Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project.
  5. Pew Research Center. (2022, September 13). 1. how U.S. religious composition has changed in recent decades. Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project.
  6. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2018, January 17). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (third Edition). National Institutes of Health.

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