A Doctor Gives His Testimony
Not all substance abuse treatment centers are the same, though most have found that incorporating spiritual education and healing to be beneficial for their patients suffering from addiction. Although Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous do not fund any substance abuse treatment centers, most drug rehabs use their twelve step approach to recovery from addiction as part of their program. Some Christians, however, feel uncomfortable with some of the language found in drug rehabs concerning the twelve steps, especially the insistence that one find a higher power of his or her own understanding. For Christians, Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. Therefore, allowing someone to choose a conception of a higher power, other than surrender to the truth in Christ, can be disconcerting for Christians in drug rehabs.
New approaches to the twelve steps have cropped up in recent years, however, that do not deviate from the Christian insistence that no God but Christ should be worshipped. There are many addiction recovery programs that recognize Christians are not immune to the disease of addiction, and they need a place where they can be comfortable among fellow recovering Christian addicts. After all, guilt and shame is a symptom of addiction. Christians may feel a greater sense of guilt communing in AA or NA meetings with folks who insist that Christ is not the only way towards healing.
Because Christianity is the dominant religion in the United States, some substance abuse treatment centers are making a point not to attempt to convince these patients that their religious views can be adopted to the traditional twelve step movement. Instead, these drug rehabs are staffing Christian therapists and pastors, and they are designing twelve step programs that replace the idea of choosing your own conception of God to the basic tenant of Christianity—that there is only one true God, and Jesus Christ is He.
With the advent of such programs, Christians can feel comfortable working the twelve steps with fellow believers. They can discuss their problems from a Christian perspective in these substance abuse treatment centers freely, without feeling as though many in their support group do not quite understand their sense of self as it relates to God. These Christian drug rehabs are eliminating the added guilt of communion with non-believers when discussing spiritual matters, while tackling existing guilt and shame through Christian pastoral counseling and therapy.