For the month of April, we will bring you articles, stories, videos and photos about faith-based treatment, and the roles spirituality, faith, forgiveness, trust and praise can play in the road to recovery.
At Vertava Health, our mission is inform you, educate you, and provide treatment for you and your family through the darkest times of addiction. We are here to help your family find hope and healing. We hope you will come back for information that may help save your life or the life of someone that you love.
Does Christian Drug Rehab Work for Non-Christians?
It’s an honest question. And honestly, we hear it everyday, in various forms.
“My loved one struggles with the concept of spirituality. Will she be accepted at a faith-based rehab?”
“Do I have to convert to Christianity to go to Bible-based rehab?”
“How could a program run by Christians help my loved one? He hasn’t been to church in years.”
“Can Christian addiction treatment actually work for non-Christians?”
These are common questions, for good reason. There’s a lot of information out there about faith-based rehab and ministry programs. Some places state that sober success rates can be up to 15 times higher for those who complete Bible-based treatment. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found that 79% of Americans believe that faith is able to help addicts recover from their addictions, and that recovered individuals (sober for over two years) had greater levels of faith than those who fell into relapse after completing an addiction recovery program.
So, we went directly to the source and talked to Pastor Erik Hines of Vertava Health of Tennessee to ask him each of these questions.
In our interview with Pastor Erik, we address all of the concerns we often hear. But first, you should know that beyond any reasonable doubt – addiction can affect everyone. Regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, morals, economical or social background. It knows no bounds or limits, skin color or beliefs. This includes Christians. This includes atheists and agnostics. The list goes on and on. Understand that addiction does not exclude anyone.
Vertava Health: “If someone struggles with the concept of spirituality. Will he or she be accepted at faith-based rehab?”
Pastor and Recovery Coach, Erik Hines: The majority of individuals who enter addiction treatment for drugs or alcohol struggle with the concept of spirituality, whether it is religious or non-religious. Drug addiction and alcoholism often times take away the ability to choose ANYTHING over their drug of choice – whether it be heroin, Hydrocodone, or alcohol. When your loved one is in active addiction, his or her entire focus is on:
- how to get the drug
- where to get the drug
- when to get the drug
- who to get the drug from
- when to use the drug
- actually, physically using the drug
In recovery, your loved one’s focus will turn to things outside of the drug: choosing for themselves, deciding on their beliefs, connecting with other people, and in many cases, connecting with powers beyond their own.
Just because your loved one doesn’t show an interest in spirituality while in active addiction, doesn’t mean they won’t find it at faith-based rehab. But don’t place expectations on them that they will become spiritual. Many of the best programs offer spirituality and faith as an option in recovery, but allow your loved one to look within themselves and make their own decisions about what they want to believe – something they haven’t done without drugs or alcohol in a long time.”
Vertava Health: Does a person have to convert to Christianity to go to Bible-based rehab?
Pastor and Recovery Coach, Erik Hines: “The answer to the question will vary, depending on where you are seeking help for addiction. There are some ministry programs that require you to believe in what they believe in, in order to heal from addiction. Often times, free ministry programs demand discipleship and focus on converting their clients over healing them from addiction
Pastoral addiction treatment facilities like Vertava Health of Tennessee do not require that you convert to Christianity. While the hope may be that you follow our teachings, our focus is on healing – not forcing our beliefs. At our center and similar places, the only goal is to help you heal – and if you decide to follow their religious program, it is only an added benefit.”
Vertava Health: “How could a program run by Christians help someone who hasn’t been to church in years?”
Pastor and Recovery Coach, Erik Hines: “It doesn’t matter the last time your loved one went to church. If he doesn’t believe in God or Jesus, that’s OK, too. At Christian-based rehab, the leaders are Christians and they follow the teachings of the Bible. You don’t have to be a Christian to recognize that the Bible has some powerful lessons and messages that can be recognized across all religions and cultures:
- Don’t kill each other
- Don’t steal from each other
- Love one another
The Bible also has a lot of teachings that recognize addiction and can be applied to healing the heart and mind of the disease. It doesn’t mean that your loved one has to believe everything in the Bible, but chances are – he or she will take away some solid lessons and messages that address suffering in addiction, as well as feelings of guilt, shame, and anxiety.”
Vertava Health: “Can Christian addiction treatment actually work for non-Christians?”
Pastor and Recovery Coach, Erik Hines: “In short: Absolutely.
In the Bible, Jesus’ message was that all can come to Him. Jesus didn’t see cultural, religious, economic or social boundaries, but invited everyone, regardless of who or what they were. At our Christian drug rehab, that same message is upheld to invite everyone: You don’t have to be a Christian to come and hear the teachings, you don’t have to believe in Christ to heal from addiction, and you don’t have to go to church every Sunday to get treatment.
Bible-based treatment facilities like ours only ask that you come with the hopes of healing, an open mind, and an open heart. These facilities do not judge the circumstances that brought you or your loved one to treatment, but instead serve as Christ would to offer help through restoration and recovery. Healing can happen for anyone at faith-based rehab – Christian or not.
The right Christian drug rehab can work for non-Christians. The right Christian drug rehab can work for any individual who suffers from addiction – and as we know, that could be anyone. Addiction doesn’t discriminate, and neither should treatment.”