The worldwide demand for addiction treatment has been consistently growing over the past several decades. Especially in the United States, where the opioid epidemic has taken a devastating toll, the need for treatment has skyrocketed.
With the increase in demand for treatment, is the demand for more treatment types based on personal preferences, and rehab tailored to personal beliefs. Drug abuse and addiction are non-discriminatory, and effect people from every walk of life and form of faith. The treatment industry has long ago realized this, and begun to address the needs of more specific groups of people struggling with addiction, including those who are devoutly religious, and would prefer to find healing along which corresponds with their spiritual beliefs.
Catholic treatment is the second most popular form of religious based rehab, only behind Christian programs.
Catholic Views on Drug Use and Addiction
Catholicism, in particular has opposed substance abuse from it’s beginning. This is traced back to St. Paul, who stated that people who engage in “drunkenness…will not inherit the kingdom of God. From this, came one of the Catholic Church’s seven deadly sins, gluttony, meaning excessive drinking or eating.
During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church fought vehemently against recreational drug use, as it was associated with witchcraft, and the church continued that campaign in opposition to drug use by Native Americans in ritual ceremonies.
This view and opposition to drugs abuse of all kinds has remained consistent up to modern days.
Pope John Paul II stated that, “To use drugs … involves an unjustified and irrational abdication of our capabilities to think, choose and act as persons”. Drug abuse and addiction are considered an “evil” by the Catholic Church, and therefore, it continues to fight against its scourge, wherever it may arise in today’s society.
While the church seems to condone “moderate” alcohol consumption, its excessive use and that of illicit drugs are considered to be a personal sin.
In Catholicism, drug addiction is as big, if not a bigger threat to one’s soul and a pathway to the kingdom of God, as it is to the physical body. In a fight for the eternal soul of its members, the Catholic Church has taken steps, and even published a handbook about the use and abuse of drugs.
In 2001, the Vatican published a handbook, Church: Drugs and Drug Addiction, for bishops to reference in their dioceses for those who struggle with drug abuse and addiction. The Catholic Church has taken a firm stance against drug abuse, in all forms, for centuries. It is no surprise that today, there are a number Catholic-based drug rehab programs and that the church itself is directly involved with countless charity programs to address drug abuse and addiction.
Catholic Drug Rehab
Catholic drug rehabs offer programs which are not dissimilar to the roots of Christian based drug rehab, as the primary goal is to get the addict back to his or her home, church base, and re-establish a relationship to God in recovery.
There are several different ways in which Catholic drug rehab programs can be sought, and in which the programs are applied to those struggling with addictions to both drugs and dangerous behaviors, such as pornography addiction.
Catholic Charities Drug Rehab Programs
Catholic charities of all kinds are widespread, and well revered for their efforts and work in local communities. As the name suggests, these are charities, and as such, social programs intended primarily for individuals who do not have the financial means for private pay rehabs. The benefit of charitable programs like these is not exclusively for devout Catholics, but generally for anyone seeking help for their addiction.
In virtually every major city, in every state, a Catholic Charity drug rehab program can be found, and many of them also address dual diagnosis, the co-occurrence of substance abuse and a mental health disorder, such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
It is important to note that Catholic drug rehab programs are not designed in the ideal that addiction can be “prayed” away. The Catholic Church has recognized the evidence-based methodologies of addiction treatment standards and does not oppose them in any way. The church only recommends the addition of Catholic teachings on the pathway to spiritual wholeness and redemption.
Private Pay Catholic Rehab Centers
As with any private pay addiction treatment program, Catholic treatment provides evidence-based approaches, which include things like
- medical detoxification
- cognitive behavioral therapy
- individual therapy
- group therapy
- drug abuse and addiction education
- aftercare services
The added component of Catholic drug rehab is the religious aspect, which includes core tenants like confessional, bible study, and attending mass.
Although these programs are private pay, and accepting of private insurance, they also accept and encourage donations, for the ability to provide scholarships to those in need, but without the means to pay.
It is a common occurrence in Catholic drug rehab programs for men and women have separate tracks and program details, as the struggles are often different for each gender. This would involve the genders being physically separated during the detox and rehabilitation processes to avoid any co-mingling or distractions which may develop as a result.
Finding Catholic Drug Rehab Programs
One of the most common issues which may face someone in search of a Catholic drug rehab is the process of going to his or her church in seek of help. Many fear judgment or ostracizing from the members and clergy of the church. Others find that the church simply does not know how to help.
In recognition of this fear, and attempts to quell it, many Catholic churches have adopted an excellent resource called the substance abuse ministry, or SAM.
SAM has its beginnings in Florida, as a monthly column, titled, SAM Scripts, in the “Florida Catholic”. The initial purpose of this column was to “provide information about an addictive disease, its effects on God’s people, and getting help and assistance with overcoming addictions”.
As it grew in popularity over time, SAM has become a staple in many Catholic Churches, with the participation and enthusiasm of the members themselves, many of whom found SAM as a result of a lack of resources for their own addiction struggles.
Although SAM is a valuable resource for many devout Catholics who are struggling with substance abuse and addiction, it is not available in every parish. For those who are struggling, and unable to find adequate resources, there are options throughout the country, and in many various forms, including residential inpatient, outpatient, and religious counseling. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call us right away to discuss your circumstances and our certified counselors can help you to find the most appropriate accredited Catholic drug rehab in your area, or any location in which would be most conducive to effective treatment and recovery. Addiction is a chronic and deadly disease, so long as it goes untreated, so please do not wait for a tragedy to occur, and find the best help for yourself and your family to return to life of physical and of spiritual health and wellness.