Faith-Based Teen Drug Rehab
Modalities of meditation, reflection and mindfulness are woven into the fabric of teen addiction treatment programs. For struggling teens who become powerless against their substance problems, faith-based rehab may give them a source of strength.
3 min read
What Is Faith-Based Drug Rehab?
Some treatment facilities approach addiction recovery through the lens of spirituality. This treatment philosophy views addiction as a deep-seated attempt to compensate for some sort of internal emptiness. By helping a recovering addict find inner strength through the treatment process, faith-based rehab facilities hope to fortify their path to sobriety.
Many teen drug rehab programs will allow time for your child to do several things:
- Meditation – Certain meditation modalities help calm nerves and strengthen a teenager’s intent before engaging in a treatment program — by understanding the gravity of their disease and the freedom recovery would bring
- Reflection – Over the course of their rehab, teens are encouraged to reflect and take inventory of the things they’ve learned, milestones they’ve reached and habits they’ve broken
- Mindfulness – At the onset of a new day or a new program, teens are encouraged to set achievable goals, remain in a state of calm and think positively about what new challenges lie ahead in recovery
Opinions surrounding faith-based addiction recovery differ widely depending on who you ask. But according to a 2001 study titled “So Help Me God,” teens who don’t attend religious services are twice as likely to drink alcohol, more than 3 times as likely to smoke marijuana and more than 4 times as likely to experiment with illicit drugs. And teen addicts with pre-existing spiritual faith respond better to faith-based rehab — especially minorities.
Addressing the Root of Addiction
Teen addiction is often rooted in something deeper than what ostensibly may appear to be a simple relationship to drugs or alcohol. Rough childhoods, broken homes, co-occurring mental disorders and pressure to “fit in” during adolescence all can dramatically impact a teen’s development and whether or not they turn to drugs as a way to cope.
Research also shows that recovering patients with higher levels of spirituality exhibit positive qualities such as increased optimism, lower anxiety and a higher resilience to stress.
No two recovery stories are the same. It’s important to have your teen’s mental health properly screened in the event of a substance problem, and follow the doctor’s recommendations regarding treatment. But if you and your family believe that spiritual principles could benefit your troubled teen, you can easily find rehab plans that implement these principles alongside traditional medicine.
Faith-Based Recovery Programs
More than 800 faith-based community initiatives, or FBCIs, are recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
If your son or daughter graduates from a traditional rehab program, faith-based rehab aftercare options could be a great way for them to stay proactive in their sobriety and meet others dealing with similar problems. Doctors don’t recommend support groups — whether spiritual or secular (or spiritually neutral) — as a standalone alternative to an individualized treatment with a trained staff. Instead, these programs are usually encouraged as a supplement to traditional rehab.
The most well-known community support group, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), was founded on strong religious principles and continues to promote faith-based healing to its 2 million members around the world. A co-founder of this group, a man named Bill W., strongly believed that those who develop a substance abuse problem are “spiritually sick” in addition to being physically and mentally unwell.
The handbook of AA, also known as the Big Book or the AA Bible, references a “Higher Power” more than 300 times. The original “12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous” ask that members of the group rely on this faith to restore their sanity and help remove their shortcomings.
In the last century, a number of 12-step groups have followed in the footsteps of AA. Though the wording has evolved over the years — an aim to make all newcomers feel welcome — the underlying ideas remain intact across many of these groups. Your teen may join AA or a similar group regardless of their personal beliefs. Along the way, they may be introduced to the idea that prayer and fellowship could benefit them in the long run.
Does Your Teen Need Drug Rehab?
If your teen is struggling with addiction, speak with a doctor to discuss possible professional treatment options — including weighing inpatient vs. outpatient programs. In some cases, in addition to tradition rehab programs, spiritual principles may help your teen reorient their recovery around personalized goals and milestones.
We offer resources here at TheRecoveryVillage.com to help you understand your teen and how drugs and alcohol affect their development. If you have any questions about the rehab process, our addiction specialists are here to help. Call us at our hotline and find out how rehab can help your family heal.
Pardini, DA, TG Plante, A. Sherman, and JE Stump. “Religious Faith and Spirituality in Substance Abuse Recovery: Determining the Mental Health Benefits.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. National Institutes of Health, 19 Dec. 2000. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.
“About FBCI.” SAMHSA. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 17 Aug. 2015. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.
“The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.” Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous, 1981. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.
Wells, Joel. “Whitney Houston Substance Abuse: Religion Can Be Powerful Ally in Fight Against Substance Abuse.” TribuneDigital-OrlandoSentinel. Orlando Sentinel, 23 Feb. 2012. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.
Hendrickson, Merguerite E. “Incorporating Clients’ Underlying Religious and Spiritual Beliefs in Therapy May Improve Substance Abuse Treatment Practices, Especially for Persons of Color.” University of Pennsylvania ScholarlyCommons. University of Pennsylvania, 13 May 2013. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.
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