Non Faith Based Alcohol & Drug Rehab
Nearly 95% of all rehabilitation centers in the United States use the 12-step treatment as a key part of their rehabilitation program. This means each of these centers use the traditional Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) model. This model includes religious elements of having to submit to God or a Higher Power in order to cope with the problems that exist. This is problematic for a number of people and not just for the reasons that may be obvious right away.
Problems with Feeling Comfortable
As you may imagine, anyone who does not consider him- or herself religious, may take offense to having to accept God or an alternatively named Higher Power in order to enroll in the program. Anyone who desires a non-religious drug or alcohol rehab program will feel uncomfortable from the start. However, that is not the only reason that people feel uncomfortable with this type of treatment.
One does not have to identify as an atheist or as an agnostic just to want non-faith based drug rehab treatment. Even those that identify as spiritual or religious often enroll in non-traditional options. One of the reasons is that they believe that having a religious program will not specifically address their addiction. Another problem for many is the way that the traditional programs deal with treatment.
Self-Empowered vs. Higher Power
Anyone who wants to take control of his or her life and become 'self-empowered' over their dependency on alcohol or drugs will have problems with the traditional 12-step rehab programs. Within the first two of the twelve tenets, the person struggling with dependence has to admit they are powerless against the lure of alcohol (tenet #1) and that only a Power higher than themselves could restore their ‘sanity’ (tenet #2). At no point do these 12 tenets refer to taking control of their own behavior, they demand that you accept the fact that nothing can be done by you to resolve the problem by yourself.
Of course, this goes against people that decide to stop drinking one day and never do so again. While there are certainly many more people that find recovery through treatment, there are those that do recover by themselves. At no point does the twelve-step program deal with that fact.
A common denominator for those seeking non-12 step rehab centers or non-faith based rehab programs is the patient regaining control over themselves. With cognitive therapy education and other therapeutic methods, a person can discover and resolve the cause of their addiction. This is a process that the traditional programs will say is impossible and can't be done. That is just one of the reasons that many people who enroll in the traditional type of treatment will often struggle with a relapse.
Evidence Based Programs
When you enroll in a non-faith based program, you will find that the recovery professionals rely on observation, evidence and science in their treatment. That means that rather than assume something works without providing evidence, they work with the treatment that has been proven successful in the past. If it does not work, they make changes and alterations; this is done to adapt to the patient rather than force the patient to adapt to the program.
That is an important distinction to recognize between the two, especially if you are considering what type of program to choose for yourself or someone close to you. After all, the issue of dependency is a serious one and unless addressed properly, could prove to be life threatening. It is important to seek programs that have a basis in science rather than religion or belief. When you have quantifiable results, you can be sure that what you are seeking out works. One specific instance that really hits home is a company that claimed that the vitamin supplements they sold could “cure” someone of alcoholism. Many patients lost their money because of this fraud and the problems that these patients had with addiction only continued to spiral out of control.
Demanding the Best Possible Programs
Of course, it is easy for a facility to suggest that its treatment program has a basis within scientific principles; however, it is important to continue a little further and read what the actual evidence says. In order to repeal fraudulent behaviors, you can find a set of guidelines published by the Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse Research and Evaluation. This information was published in order to help medical staff determine what programs had merit (scientific evidence that actually suggests that patients can benefit) and what programs did not. In order to be considered an ‘evidence based program’ it has to adhere to a few of the following guidelines:
- It has to be measurable - How can you claim that a program works if you are unwilling to provide the information? How can people quantify a 'belief' in a Higher Power? This is part of the problem with the traditional programs; they refuse to release information about their recovery rates.
- As expected - The treatment has to be successful in order to correct an outcome that should be considered ‘normal’ for that particular problem. Telling someone that they will always be addicted and are always in danger of a relapse does not sound like a desirable outcome.
- Be clear - A treatment has to have an easy to understand and well-articulated theory. Even though the 12 steps are clear enough, they are undefined and are open to interpretation.
- Effective elsewhere - In order to be ‘evidence based’ it must be effective in more than a single study. It also has to use more than one location and more than one type of population. Again, this goes against most of what the traditional programs stand for because there is no scientific research that proves these programs are successful.
You Can Always Find Help
Long-term recovery is possible; we have seen the patients that walk out of these facilities and never have to worry about addiction again. However, it is something that 12-step rehabs will say is not possible. This is a key reason why so many have a problem with going to AA, NA and other 12-step based rehab centers. Because the non-faith based rehab centers are outnumbered throughout the country, we understand that sometimes it may feel difficult or almost impossible to find the program that you are looking for. Many people do not seek help until the situation is dire; we understand the urgency to have a program that suits you, when you need it the most. Our experienced chemical dependency counselors are available to answer your questions - and help you find a non-faith based drug rehab facility that is right for you.