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Non-Religious Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs

People who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction may recognize that they have a problem, but they might be unsure about what to do about it. Once you have acknowledged that you have a problem with substance abuse, the next step should be to seek help. As you seek treatment, you will realize that there are many types of rehab facilities available, and many of the centers focus on religion or a “higher power.”

So, what should you do if you are looking for drug or alcohol abuse rehab want but non-religious addiction treatment? While there are many faith-based facilities, it is possible to find secular, non-religious addiction treatment programs.


What Are Non-Religious Alternatives for Drug Rehab?

While it may be more challenging to find a non-religious drug rehab or non-religious alcohol rehab for addiction treatment, it is possible. There are various programs that will offer you the addiction treatment you are looking for while remaining non-faith-based rehabs.

Some of the non-religious addiction recovery programs include the following:1-3

  • SMART Recovery: This is a non-profit, abstinence-focused organization that provides free mutual support meetings to people with addiction problems. The organization uses scientifically based methods to empower individuals to change their behaviors and learn coping skills that can be used in both the short and long term.
  • LifeRing Secular Recovery: This is a network of support groups that are available to people looking to live alcohol- or drug-free life. It does not rely on a “higher power” and participants religious/spiritual beliefs remain private. LifeRing uses positive social reinforcement and matches treatment to the individual.
  • Women for Sobriety (WFS): This nonprofit organization provides support strictly for women. It is a program is based on 13 Acceptance Statements that encourage emotional and spiritual growth. With a focus on positivity, responsibility, and emotional growth, WFS helps women change negative thought and behavior patterns.

Checking Your Insurance Benefits

When it comes to addiction rehab, there are so many aspects to consider, including if the program offers non-religious treatment. As you consider your options, knowing exactly what your insurance plan covers can give you peace of mind while you or your loved one is in rehab. You can do the work of getting and staying sober without worrying about unexpected costs or financial struggles. For more information on what your insurance plan covers and if it includes facilities and programs that are non-faith-based, call AAC at , click here, or fill out the form below.


What Are Non-Religious Behavioral Treatment Methods?

There are various treatment methods for drug and alcohol addiction, and many of those methods are the same as those used in faith-based treatment programs. Non-religious addiction recovery does include much of what is found in religious addiction treatment, but those programs do not include religion or a “higher power.”

Some of the treatment strategies used in non-religious alcohol recovery and non-religious drug recovery include the following:4-6

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a goal-oriented therapeutic approach that aims to modify negative thought patterns and behaviors to improve emotions and promote positive change. It involves skill building and developing coping skills to avoid addiction triggers and relapse.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): This is an offshoot of CBT that educates individuals on coping skills, including emotional regulation, pain tolerance, and mindfulness. It is an evidence-based treatment used for specific groups.
  • Motivational interviewing (MI): This is a technique used to increase an individual’s motivation to change as well as encourage the continuation of treatment and abstaining from alcohol or drug use. MI is an evidence-based technique that helps individuals overcome their uncertainty about their behaviors that are preventing change.

In addition to these treatment strategies, therapy is also a key focus for addiction treatment. Patients may attend various therapy sessions, including the following:

  • Individual therapy: This is 1:1 therapy that will help you learn to recognize substance abuse triggers and deal with them. It can also help with emotion regulation skills.
  • Group therapy: This provides an opportunity to interact with others who are going through the same experiences and struggles and provides community support. It allows for the practice of sober social skills and work on coping strategies.
  • Family therapy: This form of therapy allows you to work to open lines of communication, repair relationships, and develop conflict resolution skills with your family.

What Are the Benefits of a Non-Religious Addiction Rehab?

Rehab provides individuals with the opportunity to address their addiction. Non-religious rehab allows those individuals to work on their recovery without the inclusion of religion or a higher power, something that could cause discomfort or distancing from those who don’t identify as religious.

Benefits of attending a non-religious addiction treatment program include the following:

  • Finding a better fit: Addiction treatment is challenging, and if you are not a religious person and find yourself being asked to use religion in your recovery, you might become resistant to the process. Non-religious programs use scientifically proven data and treatment strategies so that patients can receive the help they need without the religious aspect.
  • Discovering the root of the problem: Treatment will allow the patient to examine their thought patterns and behaviors to figure out the root cause of their addiction problem. This allows patients to address those problems, so they have a great chance at moving passed them.
  • Empowering the patient: There are faith-based programs that have participants admit that they are powerless and can only be saved by a higher power. Non-religious programs place the responsibility and the power directly on the shoulders of the individual.
  • Assisting the entire family: These programs often focus on healing for the entire family so that the patient can have the support and understanding they need as they work on their recovery and live a life of sobriety.
  • Basing treatment in science: Scientific, evidence-based treatments have been shown to be highly effective and can help patients work toward recovery.

Will a Non-Religious Program Be Helpful for Someone Who Is Religious?

Anyone can go to a non-religious rehab center, including those who do believe in God or practice a certain faith. A treatment program for drug or alcohol addiction can help anyone, regardless of whether they are believers or not. However, if you are a person who has a strong faith, it is important that you examine your options before deciding to go to a non-religious rehab.

Those who are religious may not receive the type of support and guidance that they are looking for because non-faith-based programs put the focus on the individual and on science rather than on religion or faith. While religious individuals will be able to get the treatment and care that they need to begin to deal with their addiction, they may not be able to get the type of support and spiritual foundation that they want.

Regardless of whether or not you are religious, it is always important to understand the type of treatment program a facility offers and whether it will provide what is important to you.


How To Find Non-Religious Drug and Alcohol Rehab Facilities?

While just a few of the non-religious program options are included here, there are likely other facilities and programs near you that will offer the non-faith-based treatment you are looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask the facilities that you are looking at if they offer non-religious, secular programs.

Additionally, there are many facilities that do not actively promote their non-religious treatment methods, but they still could be a good match based on your specific needs for addiction treatment. If you are unsure about how to find a secular rehab facility, reach out to one of our admissions navigators at and they can help you find the right treatment program for you. Remember, there is hope for each person who is dealing with drug or alcohol addiction, no matter what religious preferences they practice or do not practice.


Sources

  1. SMART Recovery. (n.d.). About SMART Recovery.
  2. LifeRing Secular Recovery. (n.d.). Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
  3. Women for Sobriety. (n.d.). New Life Program.
  4. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons With Co-Occurring Disorders. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 42. DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 05-3992. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2005.
  5. Chapman, A.L. (2006). Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Psychiatry (Edgmont), 3(9): 62-68.
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021). Using Motivational Interviewing in Substance Use Disorder Treatment.

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