Celebrate Recovery
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Recovery Program Profile: What is Celebrate Recovery?

As a chronic relapsing disease of the brain, addiction has a profound effect on many aspects of one’s health and life. Often beginning with recreational substance abuse, addiction develops as the individual becomes physically and even mentally dependent on his or her substance or substances of choice. It’s been found that most mind-altering substances that are commonly abused by addicts have an effect on the pleasure and reward centers of the brain, causing surges in dopamine and serotonin that create feelings of pleasure, euphoria, and happiness.

Although most addicts seek treatment for addiction to alcohol and drugs, there are a number of other addictions that can be just as dangerous. These other addictions, often called behavioral addictions, include sex addiction, gambling addiction, exercise addiction, food addiction, and so on.

While there are a number of treatments available that have shown to be incredibly effective at treating certain types of addiction, it’s also understood that the diverse nature of addiction and its effects are why there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment that addresses the need of every addict. Instead, each addict has his or her own individual needs as well as a particular treatment of the many available that will work best for him or her.

Some addicts will respond best to an outpatient program that affords them flexibility with their existing work schedule and obligations while others will require an intensive inpatient program at a residential treatment center. There’s also mounting evidence that has shown support groups, particularly twelve-step programs, to be incredibly effective in treating a variety of addictions.

Fortunately, ever since Alcoholics Anonymous—the first and original twelve-step recovery fellowship—was started in 1935 there have been variations of its Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions adapted for many other addictions as well as for individuals of numerous religious faiths, offering the efficacy of twelve-step recovery to those with more specific spiritual or religious needs.

Celebrate Recovery: The Christ-Based Twelve-Step Program

Among the many variants of Alcoholics Anonymous that exist, one that has recently grown a significant following is called Celebrate Recovery. Founded in 1991 by Pastors John Baker and Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, Celebrate Recovery offers a more Christ-focused version of twelve-step recovery with biblical analogs to the Twelve Steps for those individuals suffering from behavioral addictions as well as addictions to alcohol and drugs.

According to Baker, he received a vision from God that gave him the idea that would become Celebrate Recovery, writing into a thirteen-page letter that’s become famous in the fellowship. Once the group got going, it began to grow very rapidly. Though many of the early Celebrate Recovery members were either member of the church before or after joining the fellowship, more than 70 percent of today’s membership comes from outside the church with there being more than 22,000 Celebrate Recovery ministries all over the world.

Celebrate Recovery initially began as a Christian twelve-step program based on biblical principles that took place mostly in churches and was run by members of those churches. However, as Celebrate Recovery has continued to grow, it’s also held in a number of other institutions, helping to make the program’s unique offerings available to more individuals who are in need.

Specifically, Celebrate Recovery is now offered in a number of recovery houses and rehabilitation facilities, rescue missions, and even prisons with New Mexico being the first state in the country to add Celebrate Recovery to the addiction treatment curriculum in a state prison.

The Twelve Steps and Biblical Comparisons

Traditionally, Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step fellowships have offered either the Twelve Steps as they were originally written by AA co-founders Bill Wilson and Bob Smith, or an adaptation of the Twelve Steps that were made more suitable for other dependencies or for other demographics. As a more Christian-focused answer to Twelve-Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery offers a version of the Twelve Steps as well as their biblical analogies, consisting of specific scriptures in various books of the Bible that are congruent with the adapted Twelve Steps.

For example, for the first of the Twelve Steps—”We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.”—Celebrate Recovery offers Romans 7:18, which says, “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” The second of the Twelve Steps—”We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”—is analogous to Philippians 2:13, which says, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

It is the purpose of the biblical comparisons to bring a more religious, Christ-centric focus to support groups and participating in a recovery fellowship, which has proven to be helpful for many addicts, particularly those who follow an Abrahamic faith and who consider addiction to be more so a spiritual affliction.

Recover from Dependency and Addiction Today

If you or someone you love is currently suffering from addiction to alcohol or drugs or is suffering from a behavioral addiction, Drug Treatment Center Finder is here to help. We have a team of caring recovery specialists who have helped numerous addicts get on the path to recovery, physical and mental wellness, and lasting sobriety. Don’t wait—call us today.