Christian and other faith-based rehab centers for substance abusers are becoming quite popular. There are no solid statistics to prove that these facilities are any more effective overall than standard therapy rehabs, but the preliminary indications are encouraging. Christian rehabs seem to work for many people. At the very least, they offer another option for someone who has tried to get sober with standard rehabs and has failed multiple times. It makes sense that a solid spiritual foundation would indeed boost someone’s chances of avoiding relapse. Do Christian residential treatment centers offer detox programs before rehab? The answer to this is the same as for non-faith based rehabs: Some of them do, and some of them don’t. However, many do not.
What is Detox?
Detox is the first step on the journey to sobriety. It involves a period of time and often medications to slowly wean the substance abuser off their drug of choice. You cannot enroll in drug rehab recovery unless and until you have been completely clean of any addictive drug use for a bare minimum of 10 days. All medical detox units use medications to keep the patient comfortable as they withdraw. The exact medications used depend on the drug that was abused. For opioid addiction, Suboxone is the usual medication. Suboxone contains a synthetic opioid that works on the same brain receptors as other opioids, such as heroin, morphine, fentanyl and oxycodone, but it doesn’t bind and interact with these receptors in the same way. Suboxone activates the receptors just enough to suppress withdrawal symptoms and quell drug cravings. The dose can be gradually reduced over time until the patient is no longer physically dependent on any opioid at all.
Opioid withdrawal is miserable and painful, but it’s not typically dangerous. However, withdrawal from alcohol, benzodiazepines and hypnotic sleep aids is very dangerous. These drugs cannot just be suddenly stopped because the brain has become dependent on them to function. They can cause life-threatening grand mal seizures. For this reason, withdrawal from these drugs in any detox is always medically supervised. This means the use of certain medications, often diazepam, to slowly allow the patient’s body and brain to adjust. Many people have actually gone through opioid withdrawal on their own multiple times, but withdrawal from alcohol is never safe without medical supervision.
Christian rehabs typically don’t include MAT, or medication-assisted treatment, as part of their treatment philosophy. This may be one of the reasons that some Christian rehabs don’t offer detox. If they did, they would have to use medications for anyone addicted to alcohol and benzodiazepines. They would have no choice. The opioid-addicted clients would expect medication, too, and no wonder. There is not a single person on the face of this planet who wants to go through opioid withdrawal without medication. And there is no reason for anyone to do so, either. Chemical dependency withdrawal symptoms are horrible and can persist for weeks or even a month and longer. They can include:
- Restless leg syndrome
- Cold sweats
- Pain in the stomach, muscles and bones
Until the brain restores normal brain chemicals and function, the withdrawal symptoms will persist.
If you’d like to attend a Christian rehab, you probably should. It may work very well for you. Just remember that you will have to detox and be clean of all drugs before you can enroll in any rehab, Christian or not. You will need to ask any prospective rehab if they offer detox services. They may have a detox unit on site, or they may be affiliated with one they can recommend for you. It’s really not that important where you detox. If you find a Christian rehab you really like and want to attend, and they don’t offer detox, don’t just dismiss them. You can detox anywhere this service is offered. It’s just a physical process that will be very similar no matter which detox you choose. Depending on your level of drug use, you may be able to detox at home under medical supervision from an outpatient detox facility. There are many options for detox, but not necessarily a lot of options for rehab that fit your needs and wants. Give the rehab the higher priority. They are the ones who will be guiding you to a brighter future and permanent sobriety.
We’re a group of professional drug counselors available to help you 24 hours a day at 833-846-5669. We have lots of resources and the experience to help you find exactly what you’re looking for in a Christian rehab facility.