Finding the Right Non Faith-Based Alcohol Rehab Options

What does religion have to do with recovery? The answer might surprise you.

Religion and spiritual beliefs have helped addicts to examine and treat the abuse of alcohol and drugs for years. Some people believe that religion and spirituality could fill a void in the addict’s life, a void that the person was previously trying to fill with alcohol or drugs.

Supporters of religious and spiritual rehab also often promote the idea of community, saying that alcohol or drug users can explore religion in order to connect with new communities. These new communities might provide new friends, activities, and lifestyles for addicts seeking to end alcohol abuse.

As with faith itself, faith-based rehab is not for everyone. Not all recovering addicts want to bring religion into the rehab experience. For those people, there is a huge variety of non faith-based alcohol rehab options.

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How Is Alcoholics Anonymous an Example of Faith-Based Alcohol Rehab?

One of the oldest and best-known organizations that treats alcohol abuse, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), is the most well-known example of a faith-based alcohol rehab program. AA and similar organizations use a process known as a 12-step program. AA members complete the steps as part of the recovery process.

A number of AA’s 12 steps relate to a higher power. The steps ask alcoholics to admit that this higher power can save addicts from addiction and right other wrongs. Some say that this higher power is God or another divine presence. Others say that the higher power is a spiritual force that guides and helps addicts, but is not specifically a divine presence. Regardless, this belief still appears to be spiritual in nature.

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings can be held inside of inpatient alcohol rehab centers, and there are many AA chapters outside of the centers. Many attend AA meetings as a part of aftercare, or after leaving faith-based or non faith-based rehab centers.

What Are Some Faith-Based and Non Faith-Based Alcohol Rehab Programs?

Recovering addicts who are not religious or do not want to combine spirituality and recovery can join other similar organizations. Secular Organizations for Sobriety (S.O.S., also known as Save Our Selves) is an organization that links groups that promote sobriety. It shares some similarities with Alcoholics Anonymous:

  • Both have founders who were once alcoholics.
  • Both encourage former alcohol users to meet and share their stories.
  • Both hold meetings in different geographic areas.
  • Both welcome people of all spiritual beliefs to participate in their programs.

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (S.O.S.) is very different from Alcoholics Anonymous in one respect: S.O.S. does not incorporate spiritual principles as part of its formal treatment. Instead, S.O.S examines alcohol and drug abuse from different angles, such as from a scientific perspective.

SMART Recovery is another example of a non faith-based alcohol rehab program. The acronym SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. This program instructs individuals about how to manage urges, thoughts, and behaviors in order to abstain from substance abuse and continue the road to sobriety. Like AA and S.O.S., SMART Recovery offers many meetings in different regions.

Rational Recovery is another example of an alcohol rehab program. It incorporates what it calls Judeo-Christian morals to promote sobriety. Rational Recovery does not offer meetings or the group atmosphere of AA or S.O.S. Instead, it teaches people to quiet what it calls the Addictive Voice, a mindset that encourages alcohol and drug abuse.

What Are Some Other Non Faith-Based Alcohol Rehab Options?

People looking for other non faith-based alcohol rehab offerings have a lot of options. If people feel that inpatient rehab centers could better treat alcohol abuse, they should be able to find those centers.

Non faith-based alcohol rehab centers such as Monarch Shores offer a large array of treatments under one roof. Yet even secular centers sometimes have spiritual components, such as 12-step programs, or treatment that encourages individuals to join 12-step programs. Other secular rehab centers allow patients to participate in spiritual activities, such as Bible study groups.

At secular rehab centers, these components are optional and not a required part of treatment, but are an attempt to tailor treatment to different people. Whether they incorporate religion or not, effective rehab centers should be individualized and specialized. The more a treatment suits an individual, the more likely he or she is to follow the terms of this treatment. If recovering addicts follow the terms of treatment, they are more likely to become sober and stay that way. Calling Monarch Shores can help you find such individualized treatment for yourself or a loved one.

Medical disclaimer:

Monarch Shores strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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