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Where faith fits in treatment

April 29, 2015
by Julie Miller, Editor in Chief
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What a faith-based program uses as a measurement for success is a key indicator of its true mission. Recruiting people into Christianity should not be the goal that supersedes long-term recovery, says Erik Hines, director of Addiction Campuses in Tennessee, a for-profit treatment center.

He says all clients are individuals who respond differently to different treatment modalities. Although the program in Tennessee is Christian-based, if the treatment doesn’t resonate with a particular client, he or she can move to one of the organization’s other programs that are not faith-based, he says.

Further, it does not expect any type of commitment to a particular Christian religion.

“We use the Bible as a source of good news,” Hines says. “It’s up to the clients, after the program, to be able to mature their spiritual connections and decide where they want to go in the future.”

For example, someone might choose a particular religious denomination and join a church, or they might not. That’s not the role of the treatment center, he says. The Christian aspects of the treatment approaches are guides and examples to consider. There’s a way of living presented within the Bible, and clients often agree that the life of addiction is not what they want, he says.

“We’re not trying to pick a holy war here and get involved in the debate,” Hines says. “Our role is to introduce them to God.”

MORE: Read the debate between for-profit and not-for-profit business models.