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Faith-Based Treatment


From the early days of intervention and detox through to the later stages of aftercare support, drug abuse and addiction can be tackled in many ways. While most treatment programs are secular by design, faith-based treatment programs have become increasingly available in Iowa and across the United States. Christian treatment programs utilize spiritual and religious principles to promote abstinence and foster moral development. By working with people at every stage of rehabilitation and recovery, faith-based programs in Iowa help people to break the bonds of addiction and move on with their lives.

The Drug Treatment Process

The drug treatment process can be split into three separate yet integrated components: detox, rehab, and aftercare. Possible detoxification programs include medical detox, natural detox, and rapid detox. Conventional rehabilitation programs are based on pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy principles, including cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. Aftercare programs are based on relapse prevention and practical support measures, including 12-step facilitation and sober community living. Other than 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), most treatment programs in Iowa are secular by design.

What is Faith-Based Treatment?

Faith-based drug and alcohol treatment looks at the problems of substance abuse and addiction from a spiritual perspective. By recognizing addiction as a spiritual lacking or emptiness, these programs allow people to work through their addiction issues by strengthening their faith. Religious programs normally work alongside conventional treatment methods, including medication therapy and psychotherapy regimes. Faith-based programs are available on a residential or outpatient basis, with residential treatment involving a live-in arrangement and outpatient programs involving periodic treatment sessions while the patient lives at home.

Components of Faith-Based Treatment

Spiritual drug and alcohol treatment programs allow people to overcome their addiction issues by engaging with their faith. This has a number of benefits for religious people, who can talk to counselors about spiritual matters and engage with other patients who are going through similar issues. Most faith-based programs operate in a similar way to conventional drug treatment, with detox followed by rehab and aftercare. While medication treatments are largely identical, psychotherapy and aftercare programs can be very different. 12-step facilitation is often used in the context of faith-based treatment, including the conventional approach used by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

The 12-Step Treatment Process

The 12-step treatment process if the most popular of all faith-based treatments, with this approach originally developed in the 1930s to treat people dependent on alcohol. 12-step programs teach people how to overcome addiction issues by admitting a lack of control over their disorder and recognizing a higher power. While most modern programs allow people to recognize any source of higher power, the conventional 12-step process was Christian by design. According to the American Psychological Association, the 12-step process can be summarized in the following six principles: admitting a lack of control over your addiction, recognizing the need for God or another higher power in your life, evaluating past mistakes, making amends for those mistakes, living with a new code of behavior, and helping other people in a similar situation.

Aftercare Support

Religious drug treatment programs in Iowa often include aftercare support, including relapse prevention and practical support measures. People still need help once they have completed formal rehab, with typical programs including sober living communities, church groups, education and job placement programs, and ongoing 12-step support groups. If you or anyone you know needs to access faith-based treatment for a drug or alcohol problem, it’s important to contact a professional treatment center as soon as you can.