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Faith-Based Treatment: Definition


Author: Thomas Roth

Last Updated: 1/09/2023

Faith-based treatment is used by millions of people around the world to recover from alcoholism. It’s an effective treatment modality that helps individuals connect with their spiritual side to recover from alcoholism. Many faith-based treatment programs also specialize in group healing and sponsorship programs. A great example of a faith-based treatment method is Alcoholics Anonymous, which uses spiritual teachings.

Faith-based treatment isn’t for everyone but it works well for long-term sobriety. That said, learning about faith-based treatment options gives you more options to seek help for alcohol addiction. When it comes to alcoholism, more options are always better, especially if something didn’t work in the past.


What is Faith-Based Treatment?

Faith-based treatment for alcoholism consists of addressing the mind, body, and spirit of a recovering alcoholic. During faith-based treatment, people speak with religious figures, licensed medical professionals, and other recovering alcoholics. Ultimately, faith-based treatment is defined as treatment for alcoholism that’s spiritual.

Faith-based treatment is also known for being a companion to other treatment methods. One example is a person who attends a faith-based inpatient rehab center. Within the center, faith is taught but people also experience therapy and professional addiction treatment.

Faith-based treatment centers also include places of prayer. These include places for patients to pray but also for religious teachings. Faith-based rehab centers will also include public prayer spaces for scripture readings and social interaction.

How does Faith-Based Treatment Work?

Faith-based treatment is different from other treatment methods. The primary difference is that faith-based programs use faith and religion. Therefore, a faith-based inpatient program works the same as a conventional inpatient program but with a more spiritual component. It’s for this reason that many faith-based rehab centers offer comprehensive treatment solutions.

Faith-based treatment also works in other ways but it depends on the program. Something like Alcoholics Anonymous is free and based on group interaction, whereas outpatient programs may focus on one-on-one therapy. Overall, faith-based programs work by bringing people together to worship God or the Bible. When people are going through recovery together, the program typically has a higher success rate.

Faith-based programs also use sponsorship programs to help individuals recover from alcoholism. For example, Alcoholics Anonymous helps people maintain lifelong abstinence through group meetings and sponsorships. Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the most well-known faith-based treatment options. So, many programs are modeled after the 12-Step teachings that Alcoholics Anonymous teaches.

What are the Different Faith-Based Treatment Methods?

Several faith-based treatment methods exist. In fact, some faith-based treatment options use similar recovery strategies as secular treatment facilities. Still, most treatments from faith-based organizations use God and the Bible as primary teachings.

Below are the different types of faith-based treatment methods.

  • Sober-living homes
  • Church-sponsored programs
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Some Salvation Army programs
  • Inpatient rehab
  • Detox
  • Outpatient rehab

Depending on the program, faith-based treatments may include many treatment modalities. One example is a faith-based inpatient rehab center. While the primary method might be counseling, detox, and alternative alcoholism treatments are also used.

How Much Does a Faith-Based Treatment Cost?

Faith-based treatment costs between $0 and $6,000. There is a large gap in price because organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous are free. On the other hand, some alcoholism cases require a detox period to manage withdrawal, which costs between $1,000 and $5,000.

Another factor to consider is the living situation. Sober-living homes, for example, charge someone a portion of their income to pay rent and other expenses. Therefore, it varies based on how much someone makes. Additionally, faith-based programs may be luxurious inpatient rehab centers. In these cases, the cost is upwards of $10,000 to $20,000 per month.

How Long Does a Faith-Based Treatment Take?

Faith-based treatment lasts for 6-12 months (on average). Places like Adult & Teen Challenge, though, will last for up to 2 years. Some faith-based programs also last for a longer period. For example, AA is a lifelong commitment and sober-living homes house recovering alcoholics for many months or years. Therefore, it comes down to the type of faith-based program.

What are the Faith-Based Treatment Organizations?

There are a handful of faith-based treatment organizations. The types of faith-based facilities depend on the state you live in and your proximity to a religious institution.

The most common faith-based organizations are listed below.

  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Phoenix House
  • Teen Challenge
  • Celebrate Recovery
  • Reformers Unanimous Recovery
  • Holistic recovery programs

Depending on your location, local churches and religious organizations may have faith-based healing options. Always visit your church’s website to find out more.

What is the Most Effective Treatment for Alcoholism?

A recent study conducted by Stanford University found that Alcoholics Anonymous is the most effective alcoholism treatment. The study found that AA is more successful than therapy and other types of healthcare. However, for severe cases of alcohol withdrawal detox is the best treatment option.

Alcoholics Anonymous is the most effective treatment method for a few reasons. First and foremost, it uses peer support and sponsorship programs. Peer support builds camaraderie between recovering alcoholics. Alcoholics Anonymous also ensures that people maintain sobriety through abstinence and it’s for life instead of a few sessions.

Ultimately, Humphreys (PhD, psychiatry) suggests that Alcoholics Anonymous works because of its social component.

Is Faith-Based Treatment Effective for Alcoholism?

Yes, faith-based treatment is effective for alcoholism. Studies from universities like Baylor found that religious teachings help with addiction and other mental disorders. The study found that people find God comforting and that his presence gives them the strength to recover from destructive behaviors.

Faith-based healing is also effective for long-term sobriety. People who participate in groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are more likely to remain sober than people who don’t. For example, Alcoholics Anonymous has a success rate that’s greater than 70%.

Furthermore, reputable organizations like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provide faith-based services with funding. SAMHSA helps with grants and other types of funding, which means the organization supports what faith-based treatment centers do.

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism, faith-based treatment is a viable option.