Do Faith-Based Addiction Recovery Programs Work?

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The short answer to this question is: Yes, faith-based addiction recovery programs work and with great success. The long answer is found when answering the question: How do they work and why do they work so well?

I have been the International Director of RU Recovery Ministries for over 16 years and I have witnessed the miracle of changed lives over and over again. It never gets old to see God transform someone’s life from being a hopelessly addicted drug user to a recovered and restored vessel for God. Recovery is possible and Hope is available through faith in Jesus Christ.

I recently learned that over 400 studies have been conducted on the role of faith in addiction recovery and these studies have found a success rate of 40%-60% in most faith-based programs. This is significantly higher than the success rate of programs that do not incorporate faith or spirituality into their programs.1 2



How Does Faith-Based Addiction Recovery Work?

Fear and addiction typically go hand-in-hand and people live with the fear that there is no hope for them to beat an addiction. With a faith-based recovery program, there is hope. This is one of the main ingredients that make the difference for the faith-based approach. There is hope and recovery available. This is why, in the RU Program, we don’t sit around and tell war stories of addiction. In the first hour of our program, new students are bombarded with testimonies of victory and recovery over addiction.

Another key ingredient to the success of faith-based programs is the support of the local church. Faith-based addiction programs can serve as a bridge between the local community and (as we like to say at RU) “God’s Support Group, the Local Church.” Having a church family that loves and surrounds these individuals helps create a support network of family that the addict can rely on when the pressures of life hit. Many people who fall into addiction have burned bridges with their families and loved ones and don’t have a support group on which they can depend.

Also, a key to faith-based programs is the infrastructure to lovingly hold these individuals accountable. With faith-based programs, you have individual volunteers and staff that genuinely care about people and will go out of their way to hold them accountable while showing them real love. Since most faith-based programs do not receive insurance money to pay for treatment, they are very inexpensive and run at minimum cost. Money is certainly not a motivation for the staff and volunteers of these programs. Their main incentive is to help people in need.

The “secret sauce” and main ingredient to the success of the RU Program and many other faith-based programs is teaching our students to have a personal, dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. Faith-based recovery programs help people realize that they are not alone in addiction—and if they place their trust in Jesus Christ and depend on Him, they can beat whatever addiction it is that has them in bondage.

In conclusion Faith-Based Addiction Recovery is supported by its many success stories

You cannot argue with a changed life. And in faith-based addiction recovery, we are seeing lives changed every day. Here in our ministry, you will not be shunned or disgraced because you have an addiction. You will be supported, cared about, and encouraged.

Placing all of your trust in Jesus Christ may be new to you and it might be a difficult idea to understand, especially if you’ve never seen it work. But…if you can see the miracle in someone else, maybe it will bring hope and encouragement that you too can be made free…finally!

Check out these links to stories of those who have come through our program and have been made free from addiction through the power of faith in Christ and Faith-Based Addiction Recovery Programs:

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Faith-Based Addiction Recovery Works:
Rodney – A Case For Faith Based Recovery:
Jerry and Nicole – A Case for Faith-Based Recovery:
James and Kim – A Case for Faith-Based Recovery:
Joe’s Story: Crack Cocaine Addiction Recovery:


Addtional Articles on this Subject:

The “Opioid Epidemic” in Ohio From Darkness to Light

Chris David | RU Chapter Director – Delaware, OH

I love my country, the liberties of publicly serving the one true living God and many other reasons. I also love my state where I reside. The great state of Ohio. If you were to come to Ohio you would without a doubt see the heritage of America.  As much as I love where the Lord has placed my family and me it is with a broken heart that I see our state come under one of the deadliest ‘drugs of destruction’ we have ever seen in Ohio, Opioid.


Ohio’s Opioid Epidemic – A Local RU Director Reports

Bob Reed | RU Chapter Director – OH

“Ohio, the Heart of it All.” This is a phrase that is often used in the tourism industry in the state but it also rings true in the Opioid epidemic crisis. Ohio has also been described as the battleground state in politics, but month after month here in Ohio, we seem to be battling this drug disaster in catastrophic proportions. In 2015 Ohio saw over 1800 prescription opioid overdose deaths. This gave us the title of highest in the nation. Just 15 years ago that number was 152. This is still not a good number, but we can see where we are headed if something isn’t done quickly. Weekly reports from the County Coroners are detailing the struggles they are having with running out of room in the morgues. This is a real problem!


4 Responses

  1. Thanks for all you do. I been trying to help others for the past 4 years It is a tough calling God has us in but well worth it in the end. Thank you for all you do for God’s will I totally agree with the information of biblical recovery It is the complete difference maker Any info you can share I would be more than happy to read study

  2. Most treatment centers, perform admirable work, and some legitimately claim impressive rates of success, not Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac, Michigan. Nonetheless, there are others that harbor ulterior motives and engage in what some critics have called “stealth evangelism.” Such is the case at Grace. Specifically, some religious and quasi-religious groups have seen and taken advantage of an opportunity to attempt to convert troubled young men and women to their faiths at a time when these youths may be at the most vulnerable points of their lives.Other treatment centers’ administrators have pure motives for wanting to impart their faith to their residents, and see no harm in doing so.While there is
    nothing inherently wrong with turning to spiritual guidance for help in overcoming addiction, the existence of such facilities as Grace and their ability to contract with local government ( the courts) presents important constitutional questions.
    Whether faith-based substance abuse treatments are effective is certainly a valid question in its rightful place, Grace does not publish any data and has no certified addictions counselors on staff. Many there go without needed medical and psychiatric care as well.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. When it comes to Mental Illness, and medical problems RU Recovery Ministries partners with doctors in the community and we refer our students out to them. Our focus is on the spiritual side of addiction that is often ignored. And statistics show that when you incorporate faith into the recovery equation there is a much higher success rate for recovery. As for other programs that you mentioned RU Recovery Ministries does not endorse nor do we discourage the attendance of any other program.

  3. I went to the Rockford home in 2006, but had back surgery and didn’t stay. I never went back to using drugs or drinking or smoking, but I did struggle with prescription pain medicine. I have however, been off of them for almost 2 years. I totally agree with why the program works is because I was taught to have a daily personal relationship/walk with Jesus. I am still doing this and God has blessed me so very much. He changed my life and I get to serve him by being an assistant to my pastor. I love serving God. There are no RU programs near me or in my town, but I still practice what I was taught by RU and Br. Curington.

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