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Rehab Success Rates: Faith and Recovery

Rehab Success Rates: Faith and Recovery

If you or someone you know has personally dealt with addiction, it can be difficult to plan a course of action. When it comes to treatment, it is a big life decision, and it is natural to wonder if it is worth putting life on hold for you, or a loved one, to get help. In addition, it can seem overwhelming when considering the multitude of options available.

However, people cite their faith and family as their biggest supports in recovery from addiction. There is now a significant amount of evidence that suggests faith-based recovery programs have a more effective rate of maintaining sobriety. A belief in God has been proven to create better outcomes post-recovery and lowers the risk of relapse.

America has one of the highest rates of drug and alcohol abuse. 15.1 million people have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). AUD is exhibited by an inability to control alcohol use and withdrawal symptoms. 7.4 million people have an illicit drug use disorder (Grim, 2018). Medicine and intervention are key elements in saving addicts, but research shows faith may be just as important, if not more. Many published papers show faith-based treatment is the best way to receive healing.

Faith is defined as either spirituality or religion in many texts referenced. Spiritually is more of an openness to God and nature, whereas religion is expressed through an organized system of beliefs. People who believe in either practice experienced higher rates of recovery. In the AMA journal of ethics, Robert Orr notes that "there is an increasing recognition in modern Western medicine of the importance of patient spirituality in treatment and healing." The importance of spiritual health is becoming more mainstream in prevention and recovery. Young adults involved with religion are less likely to develop drug habits.

Spiritual programs, like Alcoholics Anonymous and 8 Oaks, have a lower risk of relapse (Grim, 2018). Spiritual programs like AA are equally helpful for atheist and agnostic attendees versus religious members. This speaks to humans' natural tendency to look for power outside themselves to help them through tough times. Even when denying God, these atheist members were comforted by the spiritual aspects of AA.



A 2010 study found that 82% of patients who discovered God in their program were completely sober at their one-year follow-up versus 52% of “non-awakened” patients (Lyons, 2010). After analyzing 131 studies that determined the effect of faith on rehabilitation, 90% found there were reduced risks of alcohol use or dependency. These facts prove that the transformation created by committing to God is fundamental and life-changing.

What About Relapse? Does that mean rehab was unsuccesful?

There is no guarantee that people cannot relapse after Christian rehabilitation programs, but there is evidence that people have less severe symptoms after completing rehab. Relapse is just a symptom of a treatment that needs reevaluation to better suit the person going through recovery. Relapse does not mean failure or that recovery was not working.

For example, hypertension treatment is not linear. Patients pre-treatment for hypertension will report higher severity and much lower during treatment. After rehab, it is common that hypertension will rise again but not to the level before rehab.



It is time to look at alcohol and drug rehabilitation in the same way. Just because someone relapses does not mean that they have failed or that rehab did not work. It’s all about progression and continuously improving over time.



As a Christian, do you expect never to sin again? Of course not. Therefore, we should not expect an alcoholic to be perfect after rehab. Relapse is not uncommon, even with addiction. It is wrong to view relapse as a failure. Instead, we should see it as a need for adjustment in life-long recovery.

The important aspect is that the individual is making long-term progress and showing improvements over their struggle. This movement away from an addiction is what we as Christian's call “Sanctification.” Sanctification is the work of God’s grace to renew the individual into the image of God becoming as God intended them to be.

Faith is the founding principle of 8 Oaks. Our unique blend of Biblical teaching within a framework of clinical supervision and oversight allows patients to receive the best care in a spiritual and medical sense. 8 Oaks believes the power of Christ transforms lives, families, and communities. It is exciting to see so much literature supporting what we already know: that committing to Christ is a sure-fire way to see real change and growth through drug and alcohol recovery. At 8 Oaks, we want to help you on your journey to freedom in understanding what it looks like to be renewed day by day in God’s sanctifying grace. If you or someone you know needs help, please send us a message on our Contact Us page or call us at 931-903-2500.


Grim, B.J., Grim, M.E. Belief, Behavior, and Belonging: How Faith is Indispensable in Preventing and Recovering from Substance Abuse. J Relig Health 58, 1713–1750 (2019).

About Us

8 Oaks Recovery is a Christ-centered addiction recovery program located in Wayne County, TN. We offer a unique treatment approach blending spiritual and clinical work. We work with adult males ages 18-65 years old.

Licensing & Accreditation

The 8 Oaks is licensed by the State of Tennessee and accredited by The Joint Commission, the national leader in healthcare organization accreditation.


140 Tennessee Circle
Westpoint, Tennessee  38486

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