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Is a Christian Rehab Better for My Troubled Teenager?

Rehab is necessary when a person’s life is spiraling and they have lost control of both their decision-making capacity and the course of their life. They’ve given control over to their addiction object, and brokenness, damage, and hurt have been the result. Now they are looking for answers, power, and hope. Many rehab programs will offer such enticements, but only God and The Holy Bible are the true source for the ultimate power to set us free from addiction and deeply transform our lives.

He has sent Me (Jesus) to heal the brokenhearted, To set the captives free. Luke 4:18b

He will have peace whose mind is fixed on Thee. Isaiah 26:3

Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Let me share 12 reasons why a Christian program is a better practical choice for your teen than a traditional or secular program:

  1. Life Transformation: A traditional/secular program focuses on external recovery which ends up being outside behavior management that is hard to sustain during adversity or temptation. Christian programming focuses on allowing Jesus and God to work on the inner mind and heart to change perspective and attitude. (Learn more information life transformation.)
  1. B.I.B.L.E. – Best Instruction Book for Living Everyday: Every manufacturer builds their product so the user will get maximum potential and satisfaction from it, so they include an instruction manual. The Bible is the instruction manual of God, our Creator. (Learn more about the power of the Bible.)
  1. Trustworthy Staff: Before a teen will take in this life transforming information, they need to trust the staff. Trust is really the bridge across which all this info passes from staff/program to your teen. The attitude of Christian staff builds a caring environment that exudes connection, belonging, and trustworthiness. (Learn more about the importance of a trustworthy staff.)
  1. A Truly Holistic Spirit, Mind, Body Integration Model: Teens have interest in the spiritual world, but often have little understanding how that spiritual stuff interacts with their thinking, emotions, brain chemistry, and everyday living. A holistic approach to rehab is vital. (Learn more about holistic benefits.)
  1. Decision-Making Skills: Building on the Spirit, Mind, Body Model, the most important psychological skill, Decision-Making, needs to be taught and learned. (Learn more about how decision-making skills will help your adolescent.)
  1. Peer Group: When our teens are struggling, we want them to seek wise counsel from those with experience and expertise. Having peers that share their faith and have similar moral and value systems helps build belonging and a closer, healthier community for healing and growth to occur. (Learn more about peer groups.)
  1. Addiction’s Role: Secular programs teach addiction is a disease you will have for the rest of your life, so behavioral management is the key. A Christian program teaches addiction is not the primary issue, but an ineffective and destructive stress management or coping skill for stress, wounds, hurts, loss, or anxiety. (Learn more about addiction’s role in your teen’s life.)
  1. Real Power: Someone caught up in addiction realizes the addiction overpowered them and now controls their life. AA teaches in the first 3 steps the addict is powerless, there is a higher power, and you need to turn life over to the higher power. But this power can be anything of the addict’s choosing from a peer to a Zen mantra. A Christian program will help your teen not only connect to the real divine power of God to ultimately overcome and be set free from sin and evil, but also understand the Holy Spirit’s role and how to let the Holy Spirit rule on the throne of their heart. Accessing and submitting to the ultimate divine power of the Holy Spirit to resist temptation, see life more clearly, and influence their decisions is what will set your teen free to achieve their God-given potential.
  1. Forgiveness: Teens caught up in the web of addictions have made so many mistakes, hurt most of their loved ones, and sinned numerous times. As a result, they feel ashamed and guilty. A main tenet of the Christian faith is knowing we all sin, make mistakes, and are in need of forgiveness. Christian programming will teach God’s forgiveness and Jesus’ sacrifice for their sin and the opportunity to be free of the condemnation sin brings. Sure, some consequences might need to be paid, but they are seen by God as white as snow, covered with Jesus’ blood, and Christian programming will help them adopt this view of themselves to open their eyes, and energize their hearts to the awesome path God has for them without their addiction.
  1. Belonging: Traditional/Secular programs teach addiction is a disease. This often is confusing as the individual is unsure about how personal or moral responsibility weighs in. A Christian program will teach, yes, disease is a secondary component of addiction, but there is much more. You see, not everyone who uses a pain med, drinks alcohol, or tries a drug gets addicted. When people have minimal stress or baggage in their life and are exposed to a drug, they don’t get addicted. My view is the opposite of addiction is belonging. When a person feels left out, disconnected, not on the inside, lonely, they develop a connection or relationship with a substance. Christian programming will show how your teen can eternally connect and have the ultimate sense of belonging to God and how to stay connected. The Christian program will also teach biblical principles to help your teen build healthy relationships with themselves and their loved ones.
  1. More Others-centered and Less Self-centered: Working on ourselves is important in defeating any psychological or addiction issue. Most programs push an overly me-centered approach. But that me-centered outlook is what makes fertile ground for the addiction spiral to occur. A Christian program will focus first on God, His character, promises, and teachings, then on how your teen needs to apply those truths. God desires for your teen to be part of His bigger story of reaching and helping others understand His love, grace, forgiveness, and peace, so engaging with peers and others helps your teen grow in self-esteem, purpose, and value.
  1. Peace and Hope: True peace is not found in a substance or bottle, or a relationship, job, or any possession. Solomon, arguably the richest person of all time, tried everything under the sun to meet his needs and bring him peace, but eventually realized having everything is vanity or worthless when you leave God out. Peace is essential if we are to see life clearly and continue to make good decisions. A Christian program will teach how to fix our mind on God so we can live in peace regardless of the circumstances. When we do, hope and joy are natural byproducts as we see what and why God is doing in our lives.

As you can see, Christian programming provides numerous powerful resources differentiating their treatment from other traditional, 12 step, or secular programs. I should know, because it wasn’t until I engaged the components above that my life was not just better (and alcohol, drugs, sex, and pornography were less powerful), but my mind was thoroughly renewed and my life transformed. I am truly healed from my substance and sexual addictions. Your teen can enjoy the same miraculous comeback because God is a God of great and miraculous comebacks, as we see clearly in the Bible.

Lighthouse Network is here to help you and your teen overcome the addiction that is plaguing your family. Contact us at 844-LifeChange (844-543-3242) to learn more about adolescent rehab.

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