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Christian Detox Centers


Christian detox programs offer a faith-based approach to withdrawal management and detox services. If faith is a priority to you in pursuing addiction recovery, then Christian detox may be a beneficial first step for you.

In this article:

Types of Detox Centers

There are varying types and levels of detox centers available, depending on your treatment needs. The most common and least intensive detox setting is outpatient. If you have greater needs, you may be referred for intensive outpatient (IOP), partial hospitalization (PHP), or inpatient care.


You may be referred to an outpatient detox program if you have a mild addiction or mild withdrawal symptoms and don’t have additional concerns, such as a medical or mental health condition. While in outpatient care, you will attend detox counseling appointments at a facility and then return home during non-treatment hours.1 This is the most flexible option but it also comes with an increased risk of relapse or slips due to exposure to environmental stressors or triggers.

Intensive Outpatient (IOP)

IOP offers a slightly more intensive version of outpatient services with treatment appointments more than twice a week and lasting at least three hours long.1 You will still live at home for this treatment level, so a supportive home environment is vital during detox.

Partial Hospitalization (PHP)

This type of detox is most appropriate if you have a more severe substance use disorder, but you can still manage it safely at home during non-detox hours. You will likely participate in treatment five days a week, and the sessions will last four to six hours long.1

Inpatient or Residential

If you have a higher level of mental health and/or medical needs or have a severe addiction or polydrug addiction, you will likely be referred for inpatient detox, which provides 24-hour resources in a hospital or residential setting. You may receive withdrawal medications that can relieve symptoms and cravings and keep you safe and comfortable throughout the detox process.

What to Expect in a Christian Detox Center

Most Christian detox centers provide various levels of care, just as mentioned above. Along with offering medical detox and therapeutic treatment, a Christian rehab center will incorporate spirituality as part of the recovery process. About 73% of substance misuse treatment programs in America include spiritual practices.2

You will find that the teachings of Jesus and the Bible are central to the recovery process in a Christian detox center. Some of those biblical teachings that may be utilized in detox and treatment include:

  • Acceptance and forgiveness of yourself and others
  • Relying on God to give you strength beyond your own abilities
  • Accountability among a Christian community
  • Belief in a God that forgives you from past mistakes
  • A greater purpose found in serving God and others

While Christian detox rehab centers and traditional programs have many similarities, they also differ on some points. In one study, faith-based programs rated structure and discipline as more important than traditional centers and also ranked work readiness as less important.3 Some of the similarities between both treatment programs included group activities, mentoring programs, group cohesion, and safe and supportive environments.3

What Does a Typical Day in Christian Detox Look Like?

Each detox center will have its own structure, which may vary. Some of the common practices in a Christian detox program will include:3

  • Designated times of prayer and meditation
  • Times of confession and testifying about your spiritual transformation
  • Bible study sessions
  • Sermons or messages from a pastor about substance use and the Christian faith
  • Church services with worship and scripture readings
  • Counseling sessions with a pastor or spiritual advisor

Most Christian detox centers will combine the above practices with other necessary treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy, support groups, and medical care.

What Are the Benefits of a Christian Detox Center?

There are many benefits to attending a Christian detox rehab facility. If you are a Christian or consider yourself a spiritual person, you will benefit from combining your faith into the recovery process. Even if you are not a Christian, studies show that participants find that these centers combine warmth and acceptance with structure and discipline effectively.3

Other studies have also discussed the importance of rituals while you recover.3 Christian detox centers provide a wide variety of ritualistic activities, including:

  • Prayer (memorized and improvised)
  • Meditation
  • Worship
  • Confession
  • Scripture memorization and recitation
  • Water baptisms

You will also find that the teachings of forgiveness that come from God can help with feelings of shame and self-doubt that are common throughout substance misuse recovery. Central to the Christian faith is the idea that God loves you and accepts you, even with all of your faults. God also gives you a chance at starting over, which can be healing as you walk through the recovery process.

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How Effective is a Christian Detox Rehab Center?

What does the research say about the effectiveness of Christian detox rehab centers when compared to traditional places of recovery? More than 84% of scientific studies show that faith or spirituality is a positive factor in preventing and recovering from substance use disorders.2 Several studies over time have shown that incorporating spirituality and Christianity into your treatment produces positive results, including:2,4,5

  • More optimistic outlook on life and recovery
  • The perception of greater social support in religious communities
  • Higher resilience to stressful situations
  • Lower levels of anxiety
  • Alleviation of some symptoms associated with substance use, such as aggressiveness
  • Higher rates of termination for alcohol, cocaine, and opioid use disorders
  • Decreased risks of relapse after recovery

Approximately 82% of clients who integrated spiritual practices into their recovery process reported being completely abstinent at a 1-year follow-up compared with 55% of clients who did not engage in spiritual practices.2 When you have spiritual resources that you can use in your recovery, they are referred to as positive religious coping tools. These tools may include activities like prayer and meditation but include spiritual beliefs also. Studies have also shown that if you use positive religious coping tools, you have a better chance of positive recovery outcomes.2 Studies have also shown that connecting with a greater purpose outside of yourself can be a crucial factor in a successful recovery.2

If you or someone you love is looking for a Christian detox helpline or has a substance use disorder, please call 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) to speak to a specialist about treatment options.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Treatment Settings. National Institutes of Health.
  2. Grim, B. J., & Grim, M. E. (2019). Belief, Behavior, and Belonging: How Faith is Indispensable in Preventing and Recovering from Substance Abuse. Journal of Religion and Health, 58(5), 1713–1750.
  3. Neff, J.A., Shorkey, C.T., & Windsor, L.C. (2005, October 6). Contrasting faith-based and traditional substance abuse treatment programs. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 30 (2006), 49 – 61.
  4. Pardini DA, Plante TG, Sherman A, & Stump JE. (2000). Religious faith and spirituality in substance abuse recovery: determining the mental health benefits. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 19(4), 347-54.
  5. Beraldo L, Gil F, Ventriglio A, de Andrade AG, da Silva AG, Torales J, Gonçalves PD, Bhugra D, & Castaldelli-Maia JM. (2019). Spirituality, Religiosity and Addiction Recovery: Current Perspectives. Current Drug Research Reviews, 11(1), 26-32.
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