Addiction-Celebrate Recovery Origin

The following information is quoted entirely word for word from


Benefits of Religion in Recovery
Religion and Science don’t always play nice together. It is hard to use scientific inquiry
into such a deeply personal, individual and controversial topic. Maybe that is why there is not a
lot of research on it. What we do know is that religion is protective against drug and alcohol use.
The more a person is involved in their religion, the less likely they are to use (Moscati & Mezuk,
2014). Faith based programs (FBS) provide a place for addicted individuals to either come to
embrace a newfound spirituality through religion or to practice their religious beliefs without the
fear of stigma that might be felt in traditional worship services.
Faith based programs can also be understood as social programs or services that fall

under organizations with religious ties and are often referred to as ‘‘intentional religion.’’
Intentional religion is the exposure to religion for a particular purpose at a specific time to meet a
specific need (Dodson, Cabage, & Klenowski, 2011). Addiction is one of those reasons. Some of
these FBS programs are strictly religious and use Bible study and scriptures exclusively. Others
incorporate the Twelve Steps and offer the same or similar types of rehabilitation programs and
services but with a religious component, namely Jesus as the Higher Power.
While many Christian churches have started to be more involved in providing recovery
support services for addiction through their respective faith communities, they don’t necessarily
meet the definitions of addiction treatment or even mutual-aid fellowship. Whether the FBP

offers intervention options alone or in partnership with traditional recovery programs they fill the
need for religious involvement for those who desire such help (Timmons, 2012). In addition,
some of the advantages of these types of recovery support is that they provide needs not
addressed through addiction treatment or self-help groups. Faith based programs tend to reach
beyond the addict to include family and community in the recovery process (White, Kelly, &
Roth, 2012). Another benefit identified from a study of a faith-based residential treatment
program in Taiwan – Operation Dawn – (similar to the American Teen Challenge program) was
the finding between religious conversion and treatment outcomes. The study found that the
residents who experienced a conversion to Christianity had longer treatment stays, which in turn
produced positive outcomes in treatment. In addition, converts experienced marked growth in
morality, compassion and self-confidence, by increasing their identification with Jesus (Chu,
2012). Finally, faith-based programs can improve abstinence outcomes by offering religious
intervention options alone or in conjunction with secular programs, providing individuals with
the opportunity for religious involvement (Magura, 2007).
Considering some of these benefits of faith based programs, a review of literature was
conducted to ascertain the effectiveness of specific programs using faith based measures. Two
studies, Brown, Tonigan, Pavlik, Kosten, & Volk (2013), and Timmons (2012), both studied

didn’t want to “go that deep”. Neither could he share this at his AA meetings without being
mocked because of his stance as Jesus as the only Higher Power. He wrote a letter to his pastor
about his vision for others who were in recovery to have a place to practice both their recovery
and their religion. That pastor was Rick Warren, nationally known speaker and author of The
Purpose Driven Life, and Senior Pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California. Pastor
Warren did his own Biblical research and determined that Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, as told in
the Chapter 5 of the Gospel of Matthew, went along with the theme of recovery. They created an
acrostic of eight principles of recovery (see definitions), and tied those to Jesus’ sermon as well
as the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery® was born.
The CR website identifies the program as a “biblical and balanced program that helps us
overcome our hurts, hang-ups, and habits. It is based on the actual words of Jesus rather than
psychological theory” (Celebrate Recovery, 2014). It is a non-denominational program and any
church may start the program as long as they hold to the basic DNA of the program, namely
“Jesus Christ is the one and only Higher Power.”