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Clergy Addiction Treatment Programs

Substance use disorder (SUD) is an illness that impacts people from all walks of life. It’s possible to struggle with addiction as a clergy member or religious leader, and you shouldn’t be ashamed. Life pressures can take a toll on anyone’s mental health, especially those with careers dedicated to helping others. It can be easy to forget about helping yourself. Other factors like genetics, mental health disorders, and previous drug use can contribute to your susceptibility to addiction.1

There’s a common stigma between addiction and religious teachers. Most consider pastors and priests as leaders, guiding people who struggle with addiction. Facing addiction as a religious leader can cause a unique level of shame, and you may feel like you’ve disappointed God by sinning and giving in to temptation.

Just know that you are not alone. Over 21 million Americans struggle with SUDs.2 If you’re ready to seek help, there are many options for rehab for pastors and other religious leaders, offering treatment and support.

Signs of Substance Abuse in Priests, Pastors, & Other Clergy

Signs of substance abuse will show up differently in different people. Someone who is always on time may start showing up late or not at all. An honest person may start to stretch the truth. If you’re concerned about a loved one or coworker and have noticed something is off with them, they could be dealing with an SUD. Some potential signs of addiction in clergy members may include:

  • Using substances before church.
  • Substance use interfering with their job.
  • Lying about substance use when confronted.
  • Substance use interfering with their spiritual discipline or calling.
  • Making unethical decisions.

If you notice these signs in yourself or a loved one, you might be struggling with addiction. It’s best to get help as soon as possible to get your life back on track. Seeking professional help for addiction allows you to receive the support you need and address underlying issues that may be contributing to your addiction.

Addiction treatment for clergy and other religious leaders offers a variety of services to promote long-term recovery and prevent relapse. Once fully recovered, you’ll be able to return to serving others to the best of your ability.

Addiction Treatment Options for Clergy

There are several options for addiction treatment for clergy. Every facility is different. Some offer individualized care tailored specifically to your unique needs. Others provide treatment programs for clergy or faith-based care. Whichever program you choose should provide you with the care and support you need to fully recover and prevent relapse.

Faith-Based Care

Faith-based treatment programs approach addiction treatment from the perspective of spirituality. They offer evidence-based treatment approaches, similar to non-spiritual rehabs, and provide the same tools and therapy to help you stay sober.

The main difference is the focus on strengthening your relationship with God to help you abstain from using drugs and alcohol. Faith-based programs put your relationship with God at the forefront of recovery and consider it an essential aspect of healing. Over 73% of treatment programs in the U.S. contain some element of spirituality.3 Many 12-Step programs emphasize relying on a higher power to stay sober.

Rehab for clergy is available for different religions and denominations. For example, drug and alcohol rehab for priests who walk strongly in their faith can attend Catholic recovery programs that incorporate Catholic beliefs into treatment.

Working During Treatment

Attending treatment may seem like a burden if you want to continue working while in recovery. The good news is there are spiritual rehab programs where you can work during treatment.

You can visit a treatment facility as often as you’d like with outpatient rehab while living at home. Substance use outpatient programs offer services like addiction therapy and peer support groups, giving you opportunities to develop coping skills and promote long-term recovery.

Mental Health Care

It’s very common to struggle with mental health illnesses such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), along with substance use disorder. A co-occurring disorder or “dual diagnosis” is when a person suffers from at least 1 mental illness and addiction.2

Clergy members and religious leaders can experience high levels of pressure and stress in their line of work. Repeatedly listening to the trauma and confessions of others while working with people in need may take a toll on your mental health.

Co-occurring disorders are often treated in tandem at mental health facilities.4 An integrated approach to treatment could entail receiving medical detox for your addiction while attending weekly therapy to address your underlying mental illness and build healthy coping skills. Addressing the issue as a whole increases your chances for a full recovery and remaining sober after treatment.4

Finding Faith-Based Care

If you or someone you love is ready to get better, it’s okay to ask for help. No matter how ashamed you may feel, remember that God will always forgive you and wants to guide you along the path to recovery.

There are many different options for addiction treatment for clergy. Outpatient rehab and intensive outpatient programs allow you to continue working while you receive treatment. If you need a more immersive treatment, inpatient rehab offers a safe, supportive space to live where you can completely focus on your recovery and not worry about day-to-day responsibilities.

If you’re interested in a specific program, reach out to the treatment facility to learn about faith-based options and accommodations. Choosing a provider in your insurance network may help you avoid paying all costs out of pocket.

The road to recovery is long, but there’s help along the way. To find out more about faith-based care and what your insurance covers, call the American Addiction Centers helpline or contact us online.

Clergy Addiction Treatment FAQs

Find Out If Your Insurance Plan Covers Addiction Treatment 

American Addiction Centers can help people recover from alcohol and drug misuse and substance use disorders (SUDs). To find out if your insurance covers treatment for you or your loved one at an American Addiction Centers facility, click here, or fill out the form below. Your information is kept 100% confidential. You can also click here to find a rehab near me.

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