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Presbyterian Drug And Alcohol Rehab Centers

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

Medically reviewed by

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

March 4, 2019

When addiction strikes a member of your family or your Presbyterian church, it can be hard to get a handle on the problem. For those who feel overwhelmed by it and who follow the Presbyterian faith, there are a variety of rehabilitation options across the nation. These rehab centers offer an approach that is specific to the needs of those who follow the Presbyterian faith.

Faith Is A Major Focus Of Presbyterian Drug Rehab

Those who follow the Presbyterian faith, and who need help with addiction can find a rehab center that will honor their needs according to their faith. For example, the Presbyterian faith, whether it be the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) or the Presbyterian Church (USA) (PCUSA), adheres to certain tenets or practices within their faith that guide them as a community and within their individual pursuit of faith. It is important to note that each of these two denominations has specific and varied doctrines and beliefs that set them apart from each other, however, when seeking treatment, you should be able to find a program that serves your specific needs and theology.

In example, in both, a main axis of their faith and practice are various confessions and catechisms that guide and inform those within their faith as they move forward within the ministry and their fellowship together.

A good explanation of the purpose of these confessions that we can also connect to recovery is shared by the Presbyterian Mission Agency, in regards to the PCUSA’s Book of Confessions, they state “We have confessions because we are fallible human beings, prone to error, and inclined to forget who and whose we are. We need guidance and continual reminders about what we believe.” As humans, we do make mistakes, including those behaviors and choices that lead to substance abuse and addiction, relying on faith can give a person the context and fortitude to continue within their rehabilitation and recovery journey.

Too often, as a person journeys towards sobriety and takes the first tentative steps after, they fall prey to a slew of emotions that can be very damaging during this time when they most need strength. A person might be overcome by self-blame, self-loathing, self-condemnation, or self-hatred as they ruminate on the behaviors and circumstances that surrounded and resulted from their addiction. This effectively disables a person from finding the hope and freedom that they need to develop abstinence and cultivate an environment of self-care.

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Being reminded of these confessions can bring a person back to their spiritual roots in a capacity that grants them forgiveness and in turn, the emotional and spiritual freedom that they need to reinvest in self-love, hope, and the pursuit of a better life. By these and other facets of the Presbyterian faith, a person can find accountability and forgiveness.

In order to better foster this spiritual commitment and glean direction, it might be necessary to take trips to a church during rehab or to find a Presbyterian minister willing to come to the center and minister one or several of these confessions to you, or support you in other ways. This can reaffirm your faith, enlighten you, offer you forgiveness, and bring you solace during this trying time. Keep in mind, if you choose a faith-based treatment center, there is a good chance the facility will provide access to ministry, however, if you prefer your own mister, in most cases, if they are willing to visit you, arrangements could be made.

During the course of a drug or alcohol addiction and throughout the time spent achieving and maintaining sobriety, a person may struggle with a sense of isolation or loneliness, two things that can be very detrimental to sobriety. Reaching out to your church and receiving this fellowship and spiritual guidance can help to change these negative mindsets and emotions and replace them with a sense of purpose and belonging that can lend a more healthful and helpful balance to your life.

The idea behind Presbyterian drug rehab is to create an environment which supports a person’s important spiritual needs, while also fostering increased physical, emotional, and psychological health. Faith is an important aspect of many people’s lives, and those who follow the path of their Presbyterian beliefs may need an environment that not only respects those beliefs, but actively promotes them in a positive and spiritual way.

The Impact Of Faith And Spirituality Within Recovery

In fact, the importance of faith in addiction recovery has been tested multiple times, including a study by Dr. William White which came to this conclusion: “Moving through this crisis involves a transformational journey marked by major changes in character, values, identity, interpersonal relationships and lifestyle. Spirituality is a potential sense-making framework through which these transitions can be planned and retrospectively understood via story reconstruction. Addiction counselors can play an important role as a guide in this process and help each client construct a recovery-enhancing narrative of his or her life.”

A second study, “Stories of spiritual awakening: The nature of spirituality in recovery” cites findings supporting that “data suggest that persons in recovery often undergo life-altering transformations as a result of embracing a power higher than one’s self, that is, a Higher Power. The result is often an intense spiritual journey that leads to sustained abstinence.” What this can be taken to mean is that as a person begins to step outside of the negative constraints they’ve imposed upon their thoughts and life, and become more enlightened by their faith, they realize that their life is bigger and that they are not alone. As their faith progresses, their sobriety and recovery become strengthened by their relationship with God.

Treatment Is Personalized

Focusing on faith is just one way that Presbyterian drug rehab is personalized for individual cases. Addiction is a complex problem and one that affects people in different ways. As a result, personalized treatment will be utilized to help promote more effective recovery methods. The effectiveness of personalized care was reported on in a study published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, it recognized the importance of this, stating “The addiction treatment workforce has been equipped with a vast number of interventions and guidelines that can be applied to a range of diverse groups and can be directed toward specific biopsychosocially defined targets.”

Additional findings presented in “Personalized Treatment of Alcohol Dependence,” support this further, while this study focused on alcohol addiction, its findings can be interposed to other types of addiction. The study found that “…variation in the gene encoding the μ-opioid receptor moderates the response to naltrexone when used to treat alcohol dependence.”

What this means is that people react differently to addiction medications and treatments, making it necessary to modify an approach to their needs. So while one person may react well to naltrexone when treating alcohol addiction, another may react poorly.

This is one reason why it is so important to take the time to get to know each client’s unique and varied history when they come to a facility for treatment. As the study continues to say, “matching treatment to specific problems present at intake or that emerge during treatment can also improve outcomes.” As a result, Presbyterian drug rehabs, like many other types, make sure that all treatments suit the needs of the patient first and foremost.

Withdrawal Is Carefully Managed

The first step in Presbyterian addiction therapy is managing withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal can be a painful or uncomfortable experience and include symptoms like vomiting, nausea, hallucinations, and even seizures. A medically-managed tapered withdrawal will decrease withdrawal symptoms and make the process easier to handle. It also helps eliminate the psychological fear that often accompanies withdrawal.

The type of medicines used will vary, depending on the substance from which the person is withdrawing. For example, those who suffer from alcohol addiction may require the aforementioned naltrexone. In the case of an opiate addiction, suboxone treatments may be utilized. With any kind of withdrawal treatment, doses are typically tapered slowly over several weeks, in order to avoid triggering any severe symptoms.

Withdrawal can be difficult. For those who follow the Presbyterian faith, it may be possible to request that a minister join them during this trying period, this would be at the discretion of the facility, based on the circumstance surrounding your detoxification. If your rehab facility is in proximity to your home, as we’ve noted, your own minister may be able to visit you, however, if your facility is not close to where you live, the facility you’re staying within may offer ministerial services as part of their program. A minister can offer advice, read passages from scripture, or simply serve as a caring companion and guide that can help you to reaffirm your faith and find the hope that can be so essential during this time.

Psychiatric Treatment Is Fine Tuned For Your Needs

After going through the physical rigors of medical withdrawal, psychological treatment is usually the next step. Here, addiction will be examined in terms of any underlying psychological disorders. For example, co-occurring disorders such as depression and anxiety are common influences on addiction, as are bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may also be an influence on addiction. It is a concern that takes intensive and specialized therapy to overcome, a process that may last longer than other treatments. In this case, having faith to rely on, paired with skills imparted from a faith-based rehabilitation program, can grant you the comfort and perseverance you need to find success.

Self-medicating these mental health concerns with addictive substances often stems from and aggravates the presence of co-occurring disorders. This means that a person will not only have to overcome addiction, but the problems that lie beneath their addiction. Treatment of this type is twofold, as it manages both the addiction and the psychological and behavioral concerns.

Treating these problems requires a personalized approach that manages symptoms in a specific manner. For example, some may respond to individual therapy sessions and cognitive behavioral therapy, while others might also need the support of a group and the relaxing skills taught by meditation. Those of the Presbyterian faith can receive religious counseling, and in some cases may have the opportunity for group therapy with members of their church, if they are inclined.

Relapse Prevention Will Also Be Taught

Relapse is a major problem in addiction therapy. Sudden personal problems, out of the blue cravings, and severe stress can drive people back into the arms of their addictive substance. In Presbyterian drug rehab centers, relapse prevention is a major focus. Addiction is a lifelong concern and it requires diligent and focused aftercare methods in order to avoid the danger of relapse.

Beating sudden cravings is one method of managing the severity of relapse symptoms. Behavior adjustment techniques can distract a person from cravings by seeking out support and fellowship from friends, family members, and the church body. It also emphasizes prayer and teaches relaxation techniques that drive the mind away from the obsessions that can be caused by cravings, pointing a person’s focus in a healthy direction.

The trick is to teach the person how to identify when they are in danger of relapse and how to avoid it. Creating a list of triggers, including people, places, and situations that may inspire use is one important step in this process. Learning how to avoid these triggers, decrease their severity, and reach out for support when it is needed all help in this process.

Refocusing on your faith can help you to not only have the opportunity to forge strong and positive relationships that can supplant these negative ones, but it can buoy you as you weather the storm of contending with relapse. Having faith, and having fellowship from your fellow church members can help to keep you accountable, hopeful, and focused on what is important as you fight to maintain your sobriety.

However, when these behaviors aren’t enough, attendance at a sobriety group may be necessary. Organizations such as Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotic Anonymous offer an understanding core of people who offer support when cravings get too strong or when fighting relapse seems impossible. Those who are Presbyterian may be able to find a sobriety group that focuses on their faith-based needs.

Finding A Presbyterian Rehab Center

Although there are multiple drug recovery centers across the country that offer Presbyterian-focused treatment, it may seem hard to find them. These centers may not always explicitly advertise their specific faith-based therapies or may offer them only on request. As a result, it takes a little leg work to find these types of centers, but for those who are Presbyterian, it may be worth it.

The first step in the process is to find centers nearby and to reach out to them to discuss your hope of Presbyterian-focused care. It may be possible that such a center is in your home town, but it might also require calling rehab centers throughout the state

It’s not uncommon for people to seek treatment out of state or even across the country. In some instances, this may be beneficial to the person who needs help. Being isolated from the negative triggers that may be plentiful at home (such as friends who use or dealers) may help a person focus more fully on their recovery. Even without that benefit, for those who want a Presbyterian-focused treatment, traveling across the country might be the best decision. Even if you’re away from your family and friends, you’re not alone, relying on your Presbyterian faith during this time will serve to remind you of that and support you on your journey.

Beat Your Addiction With Our Help

If addiction has impacted you or a loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at We can help you find a treatment facility that focuses on your needs, one that will give you the support you need to beat addiction for good. We can also help you sort out your insurance or financial concerns, should you attend a center outside of your state or coverage area.

Faith Presbyterian Church - History And Beliefs Of The Presbyterian Church

Presbyterian Mission Agency - Confessions

Presbyterian Church (USA) - The Orthodox Presbyterian Church

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