Do Christian Rehab Centers Model Treatment After 12 Step Programs?

Have you ever participated in a 12 Step program like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA)? If not, why not? Both of these programs stand as a solid resource in the battle against drug and alcohol addiction. Both of these programs are also worthy of your consideration whether you have started treatment or not.

If you are in rehab or already graduated from an alcohol/drug treatment program, 12 Step meetings are a great source of support to help keep your mind on recovery. Should you start to feel your sobriety getting shaky, you would immediately have access to dozens of people in recovery who will gladly help you stay away from the edge of relapse.

If you haven’t yet made up your mind about getting treatment, these same 12 Step programs will welcome you with open arms. They won’t judge you as you continue your addictive behavior, but they will be there to remind you that other choices other than personal destruction are available.

Let’s assume you are ready to take the first step towards recovery. That first step would be admitting you are powerless over drugs/alcohol and want to get help. As a Christian, you might prefer getting treatment in a facility that focuses on Christian values during the treatment process. In fact, there are a number of addiction treatment facilities that do promote Christianity.

Let’s say you find a rehab that focuses on Christian values, and they bring you in for treatment. You should not be surprised to find out that many Christian rehabs use the 12 Step approach to abstinence and sobriety as the basis for treatment.

In fact, knowing that should spark curiosity in your mind. The question you might be asking yourself is, “how are 12 Steps programs tied to the addiction healing process?” Let’s look at that.

The Higher Power Concept Behind 12 Step Programs

Before we address the connection between 12 Step programs and the Christian approach to addiction treatment, we need to clear up a misconception about 12 Step programs. One of the core requirements of the 12 Step process is the concept of turning one’s life over to a higher power. In Christian terms, that would mean turning one’s life over to God. For a Christian approach to the 12 Step process, that is appropriate. However, the 12 Step process uses a much broader definition of a higher power. In the 12 Step approach, higher power really means something or someone in which the addiction sufferer has faith. It could be another religious figure, a real person, or even a rock. As long as the 12 Step member has somewhere to direct their faith, the 12 Step process should work. As higher power relates to God and Christian beliefs, six of the 12 Steps of Recovery specifically mention a higher power. They include:

  • Step 2: Believe in a higher power that will help to restore your sanity.
  • Step 3: Give yourself over to that higher power
  • Step 5: Admit to another person, yourself, and the higher power the wrongs that you did while using.
  • Step 6: Be ready to have the higher power remove the defects in you
  • Step 7: Ask the higher power to remove the defects
  • Step 11: Seek out the higher power through meditation and prayer and ask him to make his will known to you


If you were to substitute the words higher power with God, you would see why so many Christian-based rehabs do design their treatment programs around the 12 Steps of Recovery.

Again, AA and NA are not religious programs. Each member is encouraged to select their own higher power no matter who or what that might be. The whole idea is to teach recovering addicts to get out of their own heads and put some faith in something or someone else. For people of the Christian faith, that someone will most likely be God.

If you are looking for help with your addiction with a preference for the Christian approach to treatment, we can help you. A lot of our treatment programs are built around the concepts behind the 12 Steps of Recovery. We would like to bring you in and help you get started on your path to a lasting recovery from your addiction. To get you going, we just need to call one of our representatives at 772-934-6580. They will be happy to answer any of your questions.