Choosing a “Non-12 Step” Christian Rehab Program
There are many avenues to recovery this day in age. Very few or hardly any perceive someone who overcame addiction as an “overcomer.” Instead, they are taught to say things like “Hi, I’m Joe, and I’m an addict,” even though Joe hasn’t used drugs in almost a decade. Secular programs have their place. But, we have advanced so much regarding care facilities that it’s worth mentioning some of the differences between the program at Stones River Recovery and other addiction centers.
The 12-step program has helped thousands of individuals over the years. It’s successful because it has and does continue to work. Where we differ is our ability to move past the idea, “once an addict always an addict.” It’s not in our belief system that you have to live according to or around your “addiction.” This concept doesn’t provide the men who come to our center with an opportunity to believe that addiction or alcoholism is not who they are or where they are going.
Our Christian program firmly believes that if “the son sets you free, then you are free indeed,” John 8:36.
How the Stones River Recovery Program Treats Addiction
We see countless men being delivered from the grips of addiction by the power of Jesus Christ and the gospel. At Stones River Recovery, we believe that your life is not determined by a season in your past. I was an addict. I lived in addiction for ten years. But that decade of my life does not mean that I will continue to be an addict for the remainder of my life. And, neither will you.
Your identity is not to be found in the person you were, are, or strive to be. Your character should be defined by the author and perfecter of life — Jesus Christ. As the director of a Christian drug and alcohol ministry, I see many individuals who struggle with this idea because of how it’s perceived in the media and the social constructs surrounding it. I would instead look at recovery another way.
Another Perspective on Addiction and Recovery
Let’s take the example of a man who played basketball for the majority of his life. He started in middle school and continued throughout college. He had hopes of making it to the major leagues, but unfortunately, that dream never became a reality. Even though he didn’t make the cut, he did land himself a great job at a successful company. The question I pose to those who come through our door is this: after ten years, is this man still supposed to consider himself a basketball player or an employee at a reputable company?
Ideally, this man would look back at his time as a basketball player without judgment, but respect where he is currently in life. As we move through life, different events will provide us with learning opportunities. That doesn’t mean where we were is who we are now. Past deeds don’t carry weight in the present. They did happen, and it was a great time, but all they are now are memories of a season in their life.
Faith Based Rehab Centers
At Stones River Recovery, this is the concept we apply to our Christian based recovery program. We believe that one is made new by profession of faith, baptism, and making disciples.
A Christian man named Bill Wilson created Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The “Big Book” was based on Christian principles. Wilson concludes, “we finally began to talk about the possibility of compromise. In Step Two, we decided to describe God as a Power greater than ourselves. In Steps Three and Eleven, we inserted the words ‘God as we understood Him.’ From Step Seven, we deleted the words ‘on our knees.’ And, as a lead-in sentence to all the Steps, we said, ‘Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery.’ “
To appeal to those who turn away from the idea of God, “God as we understood him” was inserted. What I would like to ask is how can a person in addiction walk into a room and possibly “understand” God when they don’t even understand how they ended up in that room or even less understand how they ended up in the grips of addiction? After years of consuming drugs or alcohol, they may have no idea where they find themselves. And, when I say “they” I am including myself and all of those whom I’ve taught and supported through AA and NA.
Christian Based Rehab Programs Have Improved Success Rates
Statistically speaking, Christian drug and alcohol rehab programs have a greater success rate and a lower relapse rate than your conventional 12 step program. Stones River Recovery can be very, very loosely described as a hybrid. God created medicine, and we believe some individuals need it. Faith is an integral part of Christian counseling. However, scientifically proven recovery techniques do have their place, and we integrate them into our methods. Maybe some critics would prefer it to appear more often. For example, detoxification management is used to manage withdrawal symptoms and make them tolerable. Psychiatric methods, which focus on Christianity and God, are also necessary. These sessions are designed to help assess any mental health problems and to manage them in a way that helps build a vital connection with God.
Stones River Recovery Program
Christian programs such as Stones River Recovery take a much more internal to external approach when it comes to struggles with addiction. We deal with the spiritual condition of our students. Ultimately, it’s a heart condition that keeps us in our addictions. The feeding of the flesh, the immediate gratification, and the placing of self on the throne are factors that keep people in addiction. Why? Because sin feels good to carry out! But, its effects are only temporary and bring on a lot more difficulty, sadness, strife, loss, and separation from God and His will for us.