The ongoing debate about who is the best – Christian rehab versus Secular rehab

drug free

by Jennifer Valentine-Miller

Apart from working as a Receptionist I spend my spare time promoting media concepts relating to social awareness. I believed then, and still believe today, that working towards the good of others enhances the profile. One of my assignments required undertaking a field research on behalf the Christian rehab versus secular rehab campaign. The written outcome had to be based around my quantitative and qualitative data findings in favour of Teen Challenge London which is a Christian rehab. At first I found this task both daunting and challenging.

The centre is the leading Christian rehabilitation and treatment clinic which is for men only. Despite that, it still made sense to research about the success of Teen Challenge London simply because I was working for them as a volunteer outreach worker. My role was to serve both men and women with serious addictions. As well as that, I witnessed first-hand one of the success stories of Teen Challenge because I met my then friend and now husband whilst serving and ministering on London’s streets.  My husband can testify that the Christian rehab is better than secular rehab because the Holy Scriptures, for example, can heal an addict in a way that helped him overcome his addiction and also emerge as better human being.

Also an independent research conducted in the United States informed us that over 70% of Teen Challenge graduates have remained drug-free.

When I worked for the NHS Primary Care Trust it was their responsibility to provide public health outcomes within the local area. Drug misuse continues to have a negative effect on the health, well-being, and quality of life of too many people. It also drains public resources. For example, crimes related to drugs cost the UK £13.3 billion every year – and according to go a Gov.UK policy document – prison is not always the best place for offenders who misuse drugs.

Over the winter season many churches open up their doors and provide hot meals for the homeless in aid of their local homeless charity. As well as that, the charity helpline UK-Rehabs, have trained addiction counsellors who man a 24/7 confidential help-line throughout the week, they too understand that the Christian rehabilitation centre is not for everyone.  On the other hand, there is the typical secular clinic for example, The Priory, who will help the recovering addict go through detox followed by 4 to 12 weeks of intense psycho-therapeutic treatments that help him or her deal with the psychological and emotional issues associated with addiction.

As part of this debate, UK-Rehab quoted by saying that they would lean towards the Christian rehab because “the Christian centre offer one clear advantage over secular alternatives: and that is a sense of purpose.”

It also makes sense to recommend a Christian rehab especially if an addict was unsuccessful in their attempts of detoxification in the past.

For the person who is just trying to recover from an addiction – that person just needs to find the right group.

My qualitative research consisted of conducting interviews and questionnaires for a small sample of residents at Teen Challenge. They confirmed that a Christian rehabilitation centre would be their first choice. Though the programme can be very challenging, members of staff are always there to give constant support. The solid foundation developed through the Christian teachings allow those on the programme to develop a gifting and skill which they never realised was there. Today, there appears to be thousands of young people trapped in addiction, and by God’s grace a Christian rehabilitation centre like Teen Challenge will continue to reach out to the vulnerable in our society because they know this is God’s heart for our nation.


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