Drug addiction is one of the most difficult illnesses for a person to cope with. Addiction should never be faced alone – a support network and safe supervision are essential to a successful recovery. But seeking help for an addiction can be frightening, especially when you aren’t sure what to expect.
The best way to minimize fear of the unknown is to learn about it. If you or someone you know is suffering from a drug addiction, learning about your rehabilitation options will help you make an informed and healthy decision. This article will focus on a common fear regarding addiction recovery: If I go to drug rehab, will they make me try to believe in God?
Religious vs. Secular Rehab
If you’re an atheist or otherwise uninterested in religion, there are secular rehabilitation centers that have a non-religious treatment focus. These rehabilitation centers tend to focus on mental health treatment, individual therapy, medically supervised detox, and creative therapies. Their treatment programs are meant to give individuals the tools to fight their addiction and prevent relapse without pressuring said individual to convert.
Fighting addiction is hard enough without increased spiritual pressure. Most rehabilitation centers recognize this whether they’re secular or religious. A religious rehabilitation center may have a stronger focus on spiritual-based 12 step programs, but they don’t always require participation. If a religious rehabilitation center will not create an individualized treatment plan based on your beliefs and your addiction history, they may not be the right place for you.
But this shouldn’t discourage you. There are many, many options for treatment centers in the Pennsylvania area. It’s possible to find one that suits your unique needs provided you understand those needs. You can research and call addiction centers to find out details about their treatment options. If you compare and contrast your options, you can find a center that’s right for you.
The Possibility of 12 Step Programs Without Religion
The most common addiction recovery tool today is the 12 step program. A 12 step program employs the following principles:
People can help each other recover from alcohol and drug abuse
People can help themselves recover from alcohol and drug abuse
Recovery and healing come after surrender to a higher power
Seventy-four percent of treatment centers in the US use 12 step programs, but most offer alternatives for people who have a problem with the “higher power” clause. That said, the concept of a higher power isn’t always religious by definition.
There’s a philosophical element to the “higher power.” Participants in 12 step programs don’t need to believe in a God, nor do they need to believe that the universe has a plan. The “surrender” isn’t about seeking God’s help or healing. It’s about letting go of the things you can’t control.
You don’t have control over everything in the world. You don’t have control over the existence of your addiction, but you do have control over how you treat it. The surrender is about understanding what you control and what you don’t. You learn to stop obsessing over what you can’t change, and you learn to make conscious choices to positively affect your life.
That said, 12 step programs may not be for you. Here are just a few of the other treatment options available.
Non-Religious Treatment Options
Mental health treatment
Individual therapy and counseling
Meditation and yoga
Stress management strategies
Drug addiction is almost always rooted in mental health issues. Drugs can be a way to self-medicate and soothe untreated mental health problems or trauma. Without understanding the mental health issues at play, the chances of full recovery dwindle. Treatment centers understand this, so they place a heavy focus on mental health in addition to physical detox.
Many rehab facilities staff mental health professionals who are able to diagnose mental health issues. Mental health problems are treated the same way addiction is – they are illnesses that can be managed with a variety of methods.
Individual therapy and counseling focus on learning coping skills as an individual. You get a chance to sit down one-on-one with a therapist or counselor and outline your goals. You’ll also learn to identify unhealthy coping mechanisms and ways to replace them with healthy coping mechanisms. If trauma is a factor in your drug addiction, therapists and counselors provide a safe space to explore and process that trauma.
Group therapy involves a group of people with similar struggles connecting and sharing with each other. Groups are generally led by an experienced therapist. Everyone is given an opportunity to share, grow, and heal. Group therapy is a good tool for communication and for understanding different perspectives.
Creative therapies are about using creative energy as an outlet. Creative therapy can include:
Licensed music, art, and cinema therapists will help you unlock your creative potential and healthily cope using that creativity.
Meditation and yoga have been proven to calm the mind and help an individual to stay present in the moment. Meditation is a good way to relax and calm the mind. When you learn to meditate, you learn how to control and accept the flow of your thoughts. Yoga also has physical benefits. It increases flexibility, reduces stress, improves muscle tone, and protects from injury.
Finally, stress management strategies help you learn to cope with stress in your day-to-day life. Stress can be a major trigger in drug abuse. You’ll learn how to deal with different stressful situations by breaking them down into manageable pieces. You’ll also learn how to cope with situations that are outside of your control. These coping strategies are similar to those learned in 12 step programs, but they lack the religious overtones.
So regardless of whether or not you’re comfortable with a 12 step program, there are effective treatment options available for you. Treatment centers with an individualized approach will help you learn the skills you need to cope with your addiction.
If you’re ready to get started, our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 888-380-0342 today.