Faith Based Addiction Treatment

Faith Based Addiction Treatment

Faith Based Addiction Treatment

Importance of Alignment Between Faith Beliefs and Treatment

Yes, believers get caught up into alcohol or drug addiction, too.  Drug and alcohol dependency does not discriminate between people based on their religious and spiritual beliefs—or the lack of them.  Addiction is addiction, period, but treatment programs that specifically tailor their message and methods around a specific set of beliefs are an important option for many.

The solace that one’s religion or spiritual practice provides in times of difficulty is particularly important to an individual battling a drug or alcohol addiction.  The spiritual aspect of the battle can be addressed in a faith based addiction treatment program, which is an important supportive element in the recovery process.

 Spiritual vs. Secular Addiction Treatment Programs

Choosing an addiction treatment rehabilitation program should be done with utmost care.  When basic philosophical views are taken into consideration in the selection process, a better treatment outcome can result.  For example, some individuals bristle at the suggestion of a Higher Power or God or Jesus within a 12-step program, where others are deeply offended at the absence of a spiritual element.

Since there are so many options available now for addiction treatment programs, why not make this important distinction for the facility where a month or more will be spent.  There are different faith based treatment programs that specialize in Christianity, Judaism, Catholicism, LDS (Mormon), and holistic (i.e. New Age) philosophies, to name a few, so the first step is to select one that fits one’s personal religious beliefs.  Other things to consider when evaluating the various faith based addiction rehab options include:

  • The program’s spiritual principles, and how they are integrated.

Not all faith based addiction treatment programs are the same.  For example, Christian-based programs can incorporate Christianity into their programs in different ways.  One may include prayer meetings, prayers at meals, visits from a pastor, and a Christian 12-step program (versus the vague “Higher Power” verbiage in AA’s program), whereas another may emphasize Christian music, Bible studies, and include a weekly church service.  Knowing the specifics of a program with regard to the integration of the spiritual component will help an individual find a good fit that aligns with their spiritual comfort level.

  • Is the psychological counseling also faith based?

The field of psychology is a secular one, but there are clinical psychologists who are believers and therefore incorporate religious beliefs into their therapeutic program.  Some will begin and end a therapy session with prayer.

  • Faith based versus secular treatment elements

In many addiction treatment facilities today, adjunct therapeutic elements are available to reinforce and broaden the treatment program results.  Some of these practices may be in opposition to certain belief systems.  For example, yoga is often included in secular addiction treatment programs, but this would not be a practice that some believers would approve of, based on the eastern religious philosophy yoga encompasses.

Faith-based After-Care

Once discharged from a faith-based treatment center, it is important to seek continuing fellowship and support in recovery with others of a similar set of beliefs.  Even selecting a sponsor, if that is part of the post-treatment strategy, should be done with care.  A sponsor who does not value the same set of spiritual beliefs may do more harm than good.  Some of the faith based addiction treatment program options include:

  • Recovered Through Christ. This program states clearly its principle beliefs right there on its home page.  This program uses the basic 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, but fine-tunes the Higher Power language to specify Jesus Christ and God in its steps.
  • Celebrate Recovery. This program was formed at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church by a lay pastor named John Baker about 25 years ago.  Celebrate Recovery merges the 12-steps of AA with biblical citations.
  • LDS 12-Step program. This program was formed by the LDS (Mormon) Family Services in 1993.  It also bases its program on the steps of AA, but adapted them into a framework of the doctrines, principles, and beliefs of the Latter-day Saints.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous. This popular program first formed in the 1930s and has about 2 million members worldwide, and is a spiritually-based program.  These days the 12-steps use the terms ‘Higher Power,’ or ‘God as you understand him,’ but the program was originally Christian.  Still, its 12-steps are based on biblical principles and each meeting ends in a prayer.

Let Us Connect You to a Faith-based Program

The Treatment Specialist – Addiction Helplines can guide you to the leading faith based addiction and recovery program based on your personal spiritual beliefs.  Our team will assist you in matching you with a program that best aligns with your value system.  Contact us today for a free confidential assessment and insurance verification at (877) 228-3270.

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12-Step Treatment

Can Non-Religious 12-Step Really Work for Me or My Loved One?

Think about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and other similar programs, and the first thought that likely comes to mind is the fact that these are 12-step treatment programs with religious overtones. What do you do, however, if you are not a religious person? Perhaps you are agnostic, atheist or just do not want to combine your treatment or meetings with religion.

Of course, AA is not treatment, but support meetings. Meetings are often considered a crucial aspect of the recovery and aftercare process. Many people likely only know about 12-step meetings based on religious principles, which normally end in prayer. There are other options, however. Perhaps the ideal solution for you or your loved one is non-religious 12-step treatment and meetings.

Issues with Faith-Based 12-Step Treatment and Groups

The question recently arose, as explained in the Toronto Sun, regarding whether AA should kick you out if you do not believe in God. Some members of the Toronto Chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous found themselves “Expelled” and “Delisted” because “They’d written God out of AA’s famous 12 Steps to Recovery found in The Big Book, its proverbial bible.”

Another issue with religious 12-step meetings and treatment is the fact that many individuals find themselves coerced into faith-based groups and treatment by the courts. In writing for the North Carolina Criminal Law Department of the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Government, Jamie Markham discusses a question posed to him, “Does it violate the Establishment Clause to require a probationer to attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous?”

Markham points to several court rulings that forcing a probationer, parolee or even an inmate into mandatory religious 12-step groups or programs does indeed violate the First Amendment. As far back as 1996, in Kerr v. Ferry, the Seventh Circuit Court held that requiring an inmate to attend religious-based 12-step Narcotics Anonymous (NA) violated the Establishment Clause. Similarly, courts previously held that requiring a probationer or parolee to attend traditional 12-step treatment or face incarceration “violated First Amendment rights.” Finally, Markham explains that requiring an individual on probation or parole into a mandatory recovery program is possible, “As long as a secular option were available.”

Individuals who have no contact with the court system sometimes prefer no treatment over religious-based 12-step treatment. This potentially results in that individual continuing to walk along the path to destruction from addiction.

Can Non-Religious 12-Step Really Work for Me or My Loved One?

With options available to those who prefer not to participate in traditional 12-step treatment or support groups, these options have the potential to help those individuals get clean and maintain their sobriety.

AA Agnostica reassures those who prefer non-religious 12-step treatment by saying, “It’s okay. You can do it without the God concept. Many have. Many are.”

Treatment for Individuals Who Prefer Non-Religious 12-Step Options

Perhaps a crucial point that people looking for a non-religious 12 step approach should consider is the AA Agnostica assertion that “If you’re an alcoholic or an addict, you can’t get loaded recreationally.” So while non-religious 12 step treatment gives you options, you do not have the option to keep guzzling the alcohol or getting high with your friends, peeps, or bros.

If you want to get sober and go back to the lifestyle you once had before your life spiraled out of control due to your addiction, non-religious 12-step treatment can potentially help you in your recovery efforts. Just as in traditional 12-step treatment, individuals participating in non-religious 12-step recovery can also continue attending meetings and aftercare after leaving the treatment program.

Rising Popularity and Acceptance of Non-Religious 12-Step Options

In reporting on “Alcoholics Anonymous, Without the Religion, the New York Times describes a non-faith-based 12-step meeting where, instead of the Lord’s Prayer, those in attendance ended the meeting by reciting “Live and let live,” in unison. The NY Times calls such meetings “A growing number within A.A. that appeal to nonreligious people in recovery, who might variously describe themselves as agnostics, atheists, humanists or freethinkers.”

Remember, you do not have to resolve to participate in the faith-based 12-step recovery process. You also do not have to consider yourself an atheist or agnostic. Perhaps you just want to focus on your sobriety without religion incorporated into your treatment. In that case, perhaps non-religious 12-step recovery is the ideal option for you or a family member.

The The Treatment Specialist – Addiction Helplines team provides assistance to those suffering from addiction and dual diagnosis conditions find a treatment program that fits their specific needs. The The Treatment Specialist – Addiction Helplines team will provide a free confidential assessment and insurance verification. For more information on treatment programs for yourself or a loved one, contact the Inspiration helpline at (877) 228-3270.

Serving Life in Prison For Drugs

Individuals Serving Life in Prison For Drugs

The criminal justice system doesn’t always make sense to many people. Sometimes, purchasing a small amount of drugs can lead a person to serving life in prison. The person doesn’t even need to have harmed another person physically to basically be sentenced to giving his or her life to the system and costing tax players 10s of thousands of dollars for crimes that don’t really seem that bad.

1. Tyrone L. “Scrap” Taylor

Non 12 step recovery programs see patients like Tyrone, who are punished with jail time over having a small amount of a substance. Unfortunately, there isn’t much the person can do besides hire a good attorney and hope for the best, despite the fact that a non 12 step program would better suit the person. Taylor was convicted to life in prison as of January 2000. He was sentenced over selling a mere $20s worth of crack cocaine to an undercover officer. He received such a harsh conviction because it was his third offense, and the state makes it mandatory for Taylor to be sentenced to life.

2. William Dufries

William Dufries has been serving life in prison since February of 2003 for having 67 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle. He was convicted twice before for drugs, so it was mandatory under Oklahoma law to sentence him so severely. He transported the marijuana to pay for his medical bills after being diagnosed with lung cancer while being uninsured. Unfortunately for William, they felt no sympathy for him, so he still remains in prison.

3. David Mosley

David Mosley became addicted to drugs early in life when he was still a teenager. During this time, he acquired several minor drug charges. In 2008, an officer found him with four ounces of meth. Because of the habitual offender statute in Oklahoma, Mosley was sentenced to life in prison. During the time in between his arrest and sentencing, he completed an in-patient drug treatment program rather than a non 12 step program, which helped him to finally achieve the sobriety that he didn’t receive assistance with during his previous incarcerations. He was even in the middle of completing a graduate-school degree to become a drug and alcohol counselor. He’ll, however, never get to complete it or use it due to his sentence.

4. John Knock

In 1994, John was charged with three counts of conspiracy to money launder and conspiring to distribute marijuana. He was given two life sentences in addition to 20 years. Shockingly, this was Knock’s first crime. Not to mention, he didn’t even have a history of drug abuse. Back in 2012, a NY attorney petitioned for clemency but was denied, even though it was a non-violent marijuana crime.

5. Paul Free

Paul Free is serving life right now for a nonviolent drug crime he didn’t even commit. As of 1995, Free was sentenced to life after being charged with conspiracy to possess with the intention of selling marijuana. Two witnesses came forth to say Free wasn’t involved, but it didn’t help since he was charged twlce in the past for non-violent marijuana crimes.

6. George Daniel

George received a non-violent drug charge for methamphetamine back in 1990. He served 24 years in prison without any disciplinary write-ups but died in July of 2014 at the age of 75 while still serving. He had several strokes and was no longer able to read or write and his entire right side was paralyzed. He requested to spend his final days with his family prior to his death, but he didn’t hear back in time.

7. Euka Wadlington

Euka has been incarcerated for more than 16 years now because of a conviction in 1999 regarding the non-violent crime of drug conspiracy. This was his third drug-related conviction. No drugs, unusual amounts of money or weapons were found on him upon his arrest. Since it was his third strike, he was sentenced to life without parole as per Illinois law. He now helps men who are incarcerated obtain their GEDs, and he’s even created re-entry programs for those who are going to be released soon.

8. Leopoldo Hernandez-Miranda

Leopoldo guarded over 3,000 pounds of marijuana for his employer. Both him and his employer were arrested. Miranda has been serving life without parole since 1993. It was his first offense. Despite not having any disciplinary write-ups while in prison, he still remains there, weighing less than 80 pounds and is in a wheelchair while staff must transport him throughout the prison.

The The Treatment Specialist – Addiction Helplines team provides assistance to those suffering from addiction and dual diagnosis conditions find a treatment program that fits their specific needs. The The Treatment Specialist – Addiction Helplines team will provide a free confidential assessment and insurance verification. For more information on treatment programs for yourself or a loved one, contact the Inspiration helpline at (877) 228-3270.

12 Step Treatment Meetings

How Does Non 12 Step Treatment Differ From 12 Step Meetings?

Is non-12 step treatment the right choice for you or your loved one? Perhaps you wonder how non 12 step treatment centers could possibly provide you with the ideal treatment to help you stay clean when you relapsed while attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

Learn why your 12 step “treatment” in NA or AA did not work for you. Discover how receiving treatment at a non 12 step treatment facility can potentially guide you towards getting and staying clean.

I do not understand Why AA or NA Treatment Did Not Work

A common misunderstanding exists about 12 step groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Both AA and NA are 12 step support groups; however, they provide no actual addiction therapy or any other form of substance abuse rehab or alcohol abuse treatment. Members in 12 step groups receive support from each other and their “sponsor” in 12 step groups but not from professional staff with the training and expertise to provide actual treatment for addiction.

Perhaps it was not necessarily the fact that you received no actual treatment that resulted in your relapse and subsequent dropping out of AA or NA attendance. For some people, following one or more of the 12 steps and being considered a failure if you do not agree is possibly enough to make the addict or alcoholic not want to return to another meeting. The same is potentially true if an individual fails to progress to the next step in a rehab program utilizing the 12 steps. In a non 12 step treatment program, there is no shaming or labeling anyone a failure.

How Can Non 12 Step Treatment Help Me?

Lance M. Dodes, M.D., explains, “The overall success rate for AA turns out to be between 5 and 10%…” A non 12 step treatment program provides actual comprehensive treatment based on your individual needs. How do non 12 step treatment programs determine your “individual needs?” You have a thorough initial assessment with a highly qualified professional. You do not just walk in to the facility and sit down in a group meeting for an hour once or twice a week like in some 12 step meetings or programs. You do not “work the 12 step program.”

Non 12 step treatment programs give you the structured, comprehensive and ongoing treatment needed to guide you along your path to getting clean and staying clean from the alcohol or other drugs that took you down the path to addiction. If you relapse, you are not considered a failure. The expert staff in non 12 step treatment facilities have the knowledge, training and experience to help those who relapse get back on track in their recovery process.

One major attribute of non 12 step treatment is the comprehensive services provided. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explains that 12 step facilitation “seeks to guide and support engagement in 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.” On the other hand, in non 12 step treatment, you may receive treatment that includes other services described by SAMHSA, including:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Motivational enhancement therapy
  • Contingency management therapy
  • Medication assisted therapy

Are There Other Benefits of Non 12 Step Treatment?

In addition to cognitive behavioral therapy, medication assisted therapy and other common approaches to treatment, individual and group counseling sessions provide additional support.

Perhaps you need detox services before entering into a non 12 step treatment program. Our partners can assist with your detox needs. When you complete detox, you receive the comprehensive assessment provided to every individual entering into treatment.

Once you receive your assessment, you receive the guidance and support you need on an ongoing basis, throughout your recovery. You do not have to worry about being labeled a failure because you do not progress as fast as the next person does. In fact, in a non 12 step program, your treatment plan is not the same as the next person. Your treatment plan, based on your specific needs, describes your treatment plan goals and helps you work towards the goals of your individualized treatment plan as you recover from the despair of addiction.

The The Treatment Specialist – Addiction Helplines team provides assistance to those suffering from addiction and dual diagnosis conditions find a treatment program that fits their specific needs. The The Treatment Specialist – Addiction Helplines team will provide a free confidential assessment and insurance verification. For more information on treatment programs for yourself or a loved one, contact the Inspiration helpline at (877) 228-3270.