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Tony Foster’s Story: Are You Willing to Make the Right Choice?

December 11th, 2017

Are you willing to make the right choice

Tony Foster is the Chief Operating Officer of The Road to Freedom. As a man in recovery himself, Tony has a passion for helping others find and stay on their road to recovery. His ultimate goal is to help his patients gain a better understanding of the role of spirituality in addiction recovery and how building a relationship with a God can help in the healing process.

About Tony

I was my GodGrowing up, Tony was not raised in a particularly religious family. In fact, he described in his church service on November 29th, 2017 that his childhood household was ruled by money and alcohol, both of which had a stronger hold on his parents than God did. He went on to describe that, shortly before the start of his 30-year long career in drinking, his father told him, “If you don’t learn to drink, people aren’t going to trust you.” This resonated with Tony more than his father probably realized, as he began drinking alcohol at 15.

Tony continued to describe in this service that, from that point forward, he followed a similar path as his father— leading a life ruled by money, the pursuit of success, and the frequent consumption of alcohol.

The Turning Point

Tony has openly admitted that his mindset as an alcoholic was like that of any other: one of heightened ego and an even higher insecurity to drive it. It was because of alcohol that he was able to get through each day. It was because of alcohol that he was able to have fun and relax. And it wasn’t until alcohol nearly killed him that Tony was able to realize that alcohol didn’t have to rule his life.

Rehab and Finding God

I was morally, spiritually and every kind of bankruptDuring his November 29th church service, Tony points out something very important that people in recovery tend to learn the hard way: not everyone responds to treatment the same way. In his case, Tony had no problem admitting that he was what many would call a “problem patient.” This was due in part because, when Tony started rehab in 2002, he did so because it’s what his family wanted— not what he wanted. It wasn’t until he came close to death in a six-week long relapse that he finally realized that being ruled by alcohol was no way to truly live. From that point on, Tony turned to God for the strength to recover and willingly went to rehab. Once he did, he found a method of treatment that worked for him: toothbrush therapy.

Toothbrush Therapy

This form of addiction therapy, as Tony had described it, is one that focuses on recovery one day at a time. Toothbrush therapy is based in positivity, self-reflection and the reinforcement of good habits over bad ones. For those like Tony who turn to God for strength in their recovery, toothbrush therapy is an effective method of counting your blessings during rehab. During his own recovery, Tony was able to do this through composing daily gratitude lists, praying every morning and every night, and building a relationship with God. Today, Tony has been sober for fifteen years and even now continues these habits every day.

Dedication to Helping Others

I know right from wrong, but will I make the choice?Tony initially earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. After facing his own struggles with alcoholism and finding his faith, he went on to earn his Master’s of Science in Rehab Counseling and Mental Health at Florida Atlantic University in 2010. Five years after that, Tony received his Ph. D., also from FAU.

With these tools at his disposal, Tony forged a path for himself in the addiction treatment field, acting as a therapist and certified addiction professional before becoming the Chief Operations Officer at The Treatment Center in 2015. Today, Tony oversees the operations and development of the Road to Freedom addiction treatment program and assists those in need who are struggling with both addiction and faith.

Making the Right Choice

In any given situation, knowing right from wrong isn’t enough to make the right choice. When it comes to addiction, making the right choice goes beyond the decision to go to rehab; it’s something that you have to do every day in order to be truly free from addiction. Making the right choice in recovery can be as small as getting out of bed in the morning or as big as building a continued relationship with God. At Road to Freedom, people like Tony can help you on your journey to sobriety by helping you find a treatment plan that works for you. The best treatment plan will help you make the right choices going forward— for God, for your loved ones, and for yourself.

You can watch Tony’s full address here:

The Power of Prayer and Mantras for Christians in Recovery

December 4th, 2017

The power of prayers and mantras

Addiction is a disease that harms the three realms of health: physical, emotional and spiritual. Recovery from addiction is always a struggle, but it can be especially hard for someone struggling to restore their faith. This is why practicing prayers or reciting personal mantras during both addiction treatment and recovery is such a valuable source of positivity— it can bring light into a dark time in your life. But how exactly does prayer work in addiction recovery?

Prayers and Mantras in Addiction Recovery

“To err is human, to forgive divine.” This universal proverb applies to addiction in many ways. The message behind it is that no one is perfect; nor is impervious to earthly temptations. Rather, it is how we respond to life’s challenges that keeps us in God’s favor. In terms of battling addiction, God lends strength to those who turn to Him for guidance. Through prayer, Christians in recovery can surrender themselves so that they may earn God’s forgiveness and the strength needed to extinguish the addiction’s power. In this way, prayer in addiction recovery contributes to a patient’s hope and motivation to fight addiction— and win.

Effects of prayers and mantras

Similarly, mantras can be used by patients in recovery help reinforce positive thinking. On the path to recovery, you will be most likely be faced with a number of temptations, triggers and cravings. To counter this, there are certain mantras that were designed to maintain your awareness of both your strength and your progress so far. Recovering from an addiction is no easy task, but by using personal mantras to stay grounded, your chances of recovery are that much stronger.

Does This Really Work?

Most recovery programs encourage their patients, religious or not, to use prayer and mantras during their treatments. The reason why might surprise you. A number of scientific studies have shown that prayer and mantra recitation seem to have some of the same positive effects on physical health as a lot of popular holistic treatments, like yoga. Prayer can relax the body in a number of ways; it lowers blood pressure, relieves stress and tension, and improves your mood.

Biblical Prayers and Mantras to Practice in Recovery

From Corinthians

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13

“Therefore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.”
2 Corinthians 4:16

From Isaiah

“Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.”
Isaiah 33:2

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
Isaiah 40:29

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10

From Jeremiah

“Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”
Jeremiah 17:14

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11

“‘For I will restore Health to you and heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord.”
Jeremiah 30:17

From Psalm

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Psalm 73:26

“Help me, Lord my God; save me according to Your faithful love.”
Psalm 109:26

Other Prayers

“Most loving God, we ask your blessing upon all who suffer from addiction. Strengthen them to reach out for help. Enable them to take the first step to recovery. Bless them with the persistence to persevere in the fight to be free. Give courage and hope to their families, drawing them close together in the power of your love, which alone can transform our living. Amen.”

“Bless this day. Keep me safe and whole, kind and compassionate. Bless my path today. Help me to act with wisdom and live in perpetual gratitude. Bless my human family who are everywhere & everyone. Bless the creatures and plants. May all life be blessed on this day. Amen.”

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
—Reinhold Niebuhr

Personal Mantras

The wound is the place where the light enters you“The wound is the place where the light enters you.”
—Rumi

“Every breath I take is a moment closer to freedom.”
—Anonymous

“One day at a time.”
—Anonymous

Biblical Prayers and Mantras for the Newly Sober

Prayers or mantras for the newly sobered tend to be slightly different than ones that might be used during the treatment process. This is mostly because those in early recovery have a new goal: to strengthen their connections their support system as a whole, including friend, family, and the Lord. These are some prayers and mantras that a newly recovered individual might use:

“My mistakes don’t define me, but are transformed by the grace of God. Therefore I release shame off of me and receive love from God and others.”

“O Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.”
Psalm 30:2

“Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence:
The bliss of growth;
The glory of action;
The splendor of achievement;
For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision;
But today, well lived, makes every yesterday
a dream of happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.”

Salutation to the Dawn

Practice Prayer and Get Support with Help from Road to Freedom

Substance addiction is arguably the worst results of earthly temptation there is. This disease is one that can easily consume your life and lead you down a path to self-destruction, away from God’s light. That’s why prayer and personal mantras play such an important role in addiction recovery. If you are diligent in your recovery, renounce the substance, disavow those who tempt you to it, and reconnect with God through prayer, you’ll stand a much stronger chance of not only getting sober, but of going on to live a long, happy life. If you or someone you know is struggling with faith and addiction, please call Road to Freedom at 844-402-3605. Our counselors and addiction treatment staff are here to help.

Building a Fellowship With Other Christians in Recovery

November 28th, 2017

Fellowship with Christians in Recovery

Today, there are more than 23 million people in need of help to overcome drug and alcohol addiction, and only a small fraction of them are actively seeking recovery. Part of the reason for this is an overwhelming lack of support from others. Addiction has become so stigmatized in recent years that it is often treated more as a fault of character than as the disease it really is. As a result, those who struggle with addiction— and their faith— are often left to struggle alone.

Building a strong support system is a vital part of the addiction recovery process, especially for Christian addicts. Having a positive support system of fellow Christians to turn to during recovery, both during and after rehab, can mean the difference between sobriety and relapse.

The Importance of Meeting Other Christians in Recovery

You might like to believe that you are “strong enough” to overcome addiction without help, but this misconception will inevitably sabotage your efforts to get sober. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the best method of effective addiction recovery involves utilizing some sort of support service. This might include your rehab’s treatment team, local community-based programs, or a social support system consisting of your peers, family, friends and other members of the faith community. A positive peer network provides support, understanding, encouragement, and hope while tearing down any barriers in the way of your recovery. So, building a fellowship is necessary for sobriety.

Fellowship As Shown in the Bible

Fellowship is defined as a unified body of people who share the same interest, goals, and characteristics. From a Christian perspective, fellowship with other Christians is not only beneficial for people in recovery but is also a command given by God in His Word. In the Bible, God calls the modern church to fellowship with each other and with Him. The early church was an example of this, as Acts 2:42-44 states:

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common.”

The Bible also states that there is strength in numbers, an idea that can easily apply to addiction recovery. Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 says:

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”

Finally, God’s Word states that people together help each other become better. This idea is a universal one even outside of religion. For those trying to become better friends, better Christians or simply better people, the act of supporting one another is the best way to be successful— especially in addiction recovery. This idea is illustrated in Proverbs 27:17 which says:

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

With all this in mind, it’s important to note that building a strong support system— a fellowship— will strengthen your chances of a successful recovery and reduce the likelihood of relapse.

Emotional and Mental Relapse

You probably think of relapse as drinking or using drugs after a period of sobriety. While this is true, physical relapse isn’t the first (or only) thing that occurs. Many people struggling in the early stages of recovery tend to experience emotional and mental relapse prior to using drugs or alcohol again. Signs of emotional or mental relapse may include:

  • Minimizing the consequences of relapse
  • Disrupted eating and sleeping habits
  • Failure to go to meetings or share
  • Seeking relapse opportunities
  • Ruminating about past use
  • Lying to yourself or others
  • Bottled up emotions
  • Withdrawn behavior
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Poor self-care

Having a strong network of supportive Christians in recovery can help you avoid or better handle the emotional and mental triggers that initiate physical relapse. With this kind of support, you stand a better chance of achieving lasting sobriety.

How to Meet Christians in Recovery

Building a support network of like-minded peers is a necessity for addiction recovery. But for a recovering addict of faith, what is the best way to find others?

Consider the following places to meet and build a fellowship with other Christians in addiction recovery.

Through Prayer

Before you actually set out to meet anyone, pray to God. The Lord already knows what you need and who to send your way, but He needs you to reach out to Him, ask for His will to be done and trust that He will answer your prayers. And remember, while it is important to seek the comfort and support of others who have been in your shoes, it’s even more important to re-establish your relationship with your faith and with God. As Matthew 18:20 says:

“For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them, it is important we seek Him, not just others for fellowship.”

In Treatment

Many people of faith find that they can develop long-lasting, supportive relationships with other Christians they meet in a treatment setting. Because you are at more or less the same stage of treatment, it’s easy to empathize and push each other to make progress. Following addiction treatment, you can keep in touch, attend meetings together and help each other maintain sobriety during the transition back into routine life.

Volunteering for Faith-Based Causes

Two of the most effective ways to avoid relapse triggers are to stay active or to give back to the community in some way. As a Christian in recovery, you can do both by volunteering your time and support to faith-based causes. Doing this will give you a stronger chance of finding and making connections with other Christians who are also in recovery.

12-Step Meetings and Christian Support Groups

Attending 12-step meetings or peer support groups is one of the most common ways to stay focused on recovery and rebuild your social network. It’s also important to note that 12-step meetings have roots in Christianity. While there are plenty of Christians in recovery that trust their ongoing sobriety to a higher power, some groups take a more secular approach by attending these kinds of meetings. If you decide to try a support group like the 12-steps meetings, be sure to open up, be honest and remember that you all have the same goal— so offer support to them just as they may support you.

Sponsorships

Meeting other Christians in recovery through sponsorships is also a good way to fortify your social network. While it may seem a bit more awkward to discuss the subject at first, the natural course of conversation about life will usually reveal an individual’s beliefs and history.

Church and Bible Study

The church welcomes people from all walks of life. People who attend church— especially those in addiction recovery— are both strengthening their social network and improving their relationship with the Lord. By finding a church, attending regular services, and going to Bible study, you’re more likely to meet and befriend others in a more casual setting. You also have the option to ask the church leadership about addiction support resources available within the church. You might be surprised how easy it is to find other Christians in recovery with the support and backing of the church.

Build Your Support Network with Help from Road to Freedom

Whether you’re at a comfortable point in your recovery or having difficulty trying to maintain your sobriety, establishing a support system of other Christians in recovery ensures that you’ll receive the support, love and hope that you need to progress. Along the way, you’ll be able to better fortify your faith in God and learn more about His Word. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and would benefit from meeting other Christians in recovery, contact Road to Freedom today at (844) 402-3605 to speak to one of our Christian addiction specialists. We’re available 24/7 to help you.

Are Christians With Addictions Still Saved?

November 20th, 2017

Are Christians with Addiction Still Saved?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Salvation is a focus for Christians of all denominations and a central tenet of faith. The idea of everlasting happiness and eternal life is assuredly appealing, driving many Christians to live their lives by the teachings of the Bible and the Word of God.

Despite this, seeking salvation and receiving salvation isn’t always the same thing. In order to be granted salvation by God, His followers need to follow His rules and His examples to be considered worthy of a place in heaven. This might seem easy enough, but Christians with addictions may see things differently.

Addiction and the Bible

Addiction is not looked upon kindly in the Bible. As 1 John 2:16 states, “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” Temptations, especially in the form of drink and drugs, are not a gift of God. Rather, they are sins from the earthly world. With this in mind, Christians with addictions may feel as though they cannot be saved; that their time is over and that the ship has sailed without them. With prayer, faith, and recovery, however, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Salvation in the Bible

1 John 2:16 - Comes not from the father but from the world“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “no” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”Titus 2:11-12

Salvation is an ongoing topic throughout the Bible. A way to escape the evils on Earth in exchange for life everlasting, salvation is a main priority for many Christians. As stated in many places across many passages, loving Jesus Christ, following His examples, and abiding by His Word is the path to salvation— to being saved.

While the focus on salvation is certainly inspiring, the warnings about failed efforts of attaining it are less so. The Bible makes it clear that salvation is not for everyone and that not all who want to be saved will receive God’s forgiveness. As stated in Luke 13:23-24, “Someone asked him, ‘Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?He said to them, ‘Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.’” While motivating for many, these kinds of passages can be extremely damaging for those trapped in a dark place.

The knowledge that salvation is limited can easily diminish hope for any Christian addict. Rather than seeing the pursuit of salvation as a reason to get sober, substance abusers are far more likely to assume that the door to eternal life has been closed to them forever. Even worse, with so few options available for Christian addiction treatment, those who struggle with both addiction and faith may believe that there’s no point in trying to find salvation.

How Can an Addict Find Salvation

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” – 2 Timothy 1:9

Due to the nature of addiction in the Bible, many Christian addicts feel as though their chance at salvation has passed. By deliberately disobeying the word of God through using substances, each day spent in drink or with drug is further diminishing their chances earning a place and a life at God’s side.

This, of course, isn’t true. It’s easy to feel lost and alone during the depths of addiction. But, as a follower of God, you’re never truly isolated. God is always with you, and He’ll always love you, no matter how many mistakes you make or how many times it takes to finally gain sobriety.

Taking the Steps Toward Salvation and Away from Addiction

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” – Ephesians 2:8-10.

The Bible addresses the steps to salvation in several different places, including in the Acts of the Apostles. In this book, Paul and Silas find themselves in a jail in Philippi, beaten and fastened to the stocks in a painful position. Together, they prayed and sang songs of worship until a sizable earthquake struck, breaking the walls of the prison and freeing Paul and Silas from their captivity. The jailer was horrified— laws of the time dictated that a jailer who lost his prisoners should be condemned to death— but was shocked to find Paul and Silas still within the jail.

Weeping, the jailer threw himself at the men’s feet and cried “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” In Acts 16:31, they answered him: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” The message? Believing in Christ is the secret to salvation, following His teachings and examples, and opening your heart up to Him is the path to a stronger relationship with him. This is the case for anyone, even those who struggle with the disease that is addiction.

Forgiveness in the Bible

Christianity is about following the guidance of the Bible, but it’s important to remember the passages about forgiveness. As stated in 1 John 1:9,If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” After seeking forgiveness, it’s possible for any recovering Christian addict to return to the embrace of the Lord and continue the quest for salvation.

The mistakes you make in your past don’t have to dictate your future. Being saved isn’t a use-it-or-lose-it opportunity. Christians with addiction can certainly still be saved, but it’s up to you to right your wrongs before you can be forgiven and, consequently, truly saved.

Seeking Salvation – and Treatment

As a Christian, the first step in searching for salvation must involve atoning for your sins. As a substance abuser, this, of course, means sobriety. In order to move beyond addiction and seek a happier, healthier way to live, recovery is absolutely essential. And you can absolutely find it at the best Christian addiction treatment center in the nation.

Road to Freedom is a Christian addiction treatment center focused on combining addiction medicine, psychotherapy, and worship to build a customized path to sobriety. At Road to Freedom, patients work through detox and rehabilitation in a safe, secure atmosphere that embraces faith and uses God’s teachings to further the journey toward sobriety and abstinence. Whether you remain strong in your faith or have lapsed during your descent into addiction, our team is here to hold you up in prayer and help you find your way toward salvation.

If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, Road to Freedom can help. Please contact us at (844) 402-3605 to get the faith-based support you need.

How to Pray: What the Bible Says about Talking to God

November 13th, 2017

How to Talk to God - Simply

Simple Steps for Talking to God Through Prayer

There are no statistics, earthly governing boards or licensing agencies when it comes to your relationship with God. Some people begin their walk in faith early in life and some don’t start until they’re on their death bed. Praying to God is not dependent upon your socioeconomic status, gender, past wrongs, current flaws or how long you’ve been a Christian.

Whether you’re in addiction’s grip or simply looking for clarity about prayer, learn what the Bible says about praying to God and how to implement the principles of prayer into your spiritual life.

To get answers to your questions about prayer and its role in addiction treatment, chat with an addiction professional at Road to Freedom now or contact us at (844) 402-3605.

Confusion about Prayer

Misconceptions about prayer can cause those seeking answers to give up. Common questions people have about prayer include: “Do I have to stand, kneel or bow my head? Is it required that I pray out loud? Do I have to hold the Bible or a rosary? Do I need to be in church to pray? How do I know God is listening? Is there a format or sequence to follow?”

Prayer is not a problem to be solved; it’s simply a conversation with God. Speak to God like you would a friend with the understanding that God is your heavenly Father, knows what you need and loves you more than all His other creations. The Bible says to have faith that your prayers will be answered.

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”– Mark 11:24

What the Bible Says about Christian Prayer

When Jesus was asked by His disciples how to pray, He replied:

“This, then, is how you should pray:

‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'” – Matthew 6:9-13

This has come to be known as the Lord’s prayer and is a great introduction to prayer if you’re confused or unsure about how to pray. It’s important to note that Jesus’ instruction on prayer is uniquely perfect. It covers key points that should be included in prayer, such as:

  • Acknowledge God is the Father. For many who are learning about God, His promises and the Bible, it can be difficult to come to terms with the idea that he is the Father of man. Many earthly fathers, if they were present during childhood, are responsible for hurts and disappointment. Understand that God the heavenly Father is perfect and wants only the best for you.
  • Acknowledge God is holy and worthy to be praised. By reciting the words “hallowed be your name,” you’re acknowledging that God is holy and separate from everything else. He reigns in heaven and on earth.
  • Pray for God’s will to be done. Sometimes it’s hard to understand what God’s will is and that is because our view is limited while God’s is infinite. God knows the past, present and future. Praying for God’s will to happen in your life is praying for God’s plan to take shape and His ultimate purpose for your life to be realized.
  • Ask for your daily needs to be provided. The Bible says that God knows what you need before you ask Him, and He does. But, in prayer it’s important to ask for help from God to attain your needs. This shows that you’re putting faith in God to be your provider and not relying on yourself or the world.
  • Ask for forgiveness. In prayer, Christians are called to confess their sins and ask for forgiveness from God. The act of doing so helps Christians to acknowledge the ways in which they’ve disobeyed God’s word, gain forgiveness and ask for divine help not to repeat the same mistakes.
  • Pray to resist temptation. Once you’ve overcome one temptation, another chance to sin will present itself. In prayer to God, ask for the insight needed to recognize temptation. Then, ask for the strength and willpower to resist the urge to sin.

Talk to someone now via chat or phone about getting addiction treatment and improving your relationship with God. We’re available 24/7 at (844) 402-3605.

How to Make Prayer Personal

Simple steps How to PrayMany people turn to prayer when they’re sad, lonely, anxious or worried. This is normal and perfectly acceptable; God wants you to turn to Him in your time of need. God also wants you to pray with purpose and dedicate time to Him. Consider the following Biblical commands about prayer before establishing your own prayer routine.

Make Time with God Alone

As Jesus did, spending time alone in prayer with God brings you closer to Him and shows the Lord that you value spending time with Him. Choose a time that you can commit to, whether it’s five minutes or two hours, on a regular basis to pray. Keep in mind you don’t have to pray any one particular way, so you can pray aloud or pray silently, sing praises to God or give thanks, or share your concerns and worries. As the Bible says in Matthew 6:6“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Be Honest with God

God already knows everything you need and everything troubling you. Prayer is not a performance; it’s an outpouring of love, appreciation and praise to God while asking forgiveness for sins and expressing concerns. The Bible warns against using empty words in prayer. In Matthew 6:7-8 it states, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

Confess Your Sins

Everyone sins regardless of their lot in life. Since the fall of Adam and Eve when humans gained original sin, there has not been one person, save Jesus, who lived a life free of sin. Even after asking for forgiveness, you will commit sin. When you spend time in prayer, confess your sins to God and ask forgiveness. Ask God to help you resist temptation and give you the strength you need to sin no more. The Bible states in 1 John 1:9“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sinsand purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Pray with Others

While it’s important to spend time alone with God in prayer, believers are also expected to fellowship with other Christians and pray with them. In fact, the Bible says that when two or more are gathered in the Lord’s name, Jesus is there with them. “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:19-20

Pray for Others

Prayer isn’t just about your relationship with God or your personal needs. Also pray for others who are in need, whether or not they are Christian. Pray for them to seek and find God, pray for others who are sick, struggling, stuck in their sin and hurting. Praying for someone else is called intercessory prayer. This simply means you are appealing to God on their behalf. Christians are directed to do this in Philippians 2:3-4“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Get Addiction Help

If you’re seeking help with addiction, gain your footing on the road to recovery while fortifying your relationship with God and other Christians. Contact Road to Freedom today at (844) 402-3605 for a free, confidential consultation. We’re available 24/7 to assist you.

Do Christians Suffer from Addiction?

November 6th, 2017

Do Christians Suffer From Addiction?

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” – 1 Corinthians 1:27-29

Addiction comes in all shapes and sizes. And, in the United States, it’s quite prevalent. Approximately 40 million Americans are addicted to drugs, alcohol, or nicotine – a figure comprised of over 12% of the population.

Popular culture paints a particular image of the common addict. He is weak, both physically and morally. He can’t keep a relationship, giving up everything for drugs. He works a menial job and can barely afford to feed his family, squandering his cash on his habit. He is a poor excuse for a person, and someone to shame, not help.

In reality, of course, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Addiction’s grasp covers virtually everyone, from teenagers to adults in their 90s. They are parents, CEOs, college students, blue collar workers, family men, and even men of faith. Addiction doesn’t discriminate; anyone who tries a substance is at risk of developing a long-term problem that a little resolve alone can’t address.

You may find yourself reading this passage and doubting the veracity. After all, good people aren’t addicts. Good people don’t try drugs or drink too much or make mistakes. Addiction is a moral failing, right?

Unfortunately, addiction is a shade of gray, and it’s not necessarily a reflection on a user or his habits. Instead, addiction is a lifelong, chronic disease that can affect anyone and everyone, regardless of color, age, creed, or gender.

Christianity and Addiction

For Christians struggling with substance abuse and addiction, rectifying beliefs with compulsion is often among the largest roadblocks. Even as you’re sipping a drink or preparing to smoke, admitting the conflict between faith and feeling can be a hard reality to face.

The lessons in the Bible on addiction are quite clear. Despite the inherent weakness of humanity and the temptation offered by sin, God’s stance on substance abuse is one of condemnation. Proverbs 20:1 says that “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” Isaiah 5:11 carries this idea further, stating that “woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!”

Accordingly, it’s not hard to understand why many Christians feel as though abusing illicit substances, like alcohol, prescription painkillers, or drugs, is akin to turning away from God. If developing an addiction is completely contradictory to Christ’s teachings, is it really possible to be a Christian and an addict?

Do Christians Suffer from Addiction?

So, if abusing substances means going against the Lord, can you suffer from addiction as a Christian?

The answer is yes.

Humans are not perfect creatures, as much as we wish we were. Even those of us who are dedicated to living a good, productive, and Godly life aren’t going to live absent of accidents and incidents, no matter how hard we try.

As a follower of Christ’s lessons, you know that erring is human. We all make mistakes and fail and fall down time and time again before we manage to get back up. And, of course, addiction can be a part of this process.

Romans 5:12 reminds us that “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.” We were all born into sin, will live in sin, and will die in sin, but that doesn’t mean that we are not Christians. Jesus loves all of his followers; he died for us, forgives us, and is there to help us reach a path to heaven, even though we may stumble along the way.

1 Peter 3:18 states this clearly: “or Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”

The Nature of Addiction

Addiction is not a matter of faith. It is a chronic disease that has no cure and will always be a part of your life. Relapse rates are quite similar to those of other chronic conditions, like Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, and Asthma.

Christians - Suffer from Addiction?While addiction can take many forms, it largely starts and ends in the brain. When you take a drink or try a drug, your body reacts to the chemical composition of the ingested substances. Opiates, for example, target opioid receptors in the brain. These unique areas are a part of the reward system, helping you to feel pleasure, excitement, and euphoria during enjoyable moments. In general, these areas are activated normally through the course of regular life, but opiates can activate these receptors directly, acting like a naturally-derived neurotransmitter to send irregular signals to the brain to increase the release of dopamine. For particularly potent drugs, like heroin, its estimated that dopamine levels can be up to ten times higher than normal.

The process creates intensely pleasurable feelings, triggering a desire to continue taking drugs. Over time, increased levels of dopamine can actually lead to a change in the brain’s chemistry, rendering natural levels of endorphins ineffective.

When drugs and alcohol begin to impose physical changes on the body, addiction’s role shifts outside of the grasp of faith and no amount of prayer and worship alone can break the cycle. Without professional assistance, there may be no hope for successful recovery.

Faith in Recovery

For those who find faith in the Lord, the power of His word can play a vital role in getting clean and sober. With a combination of medical interference, professional counseling, and a return to Christian teachings, it’s possible to overcome the crushing grasp of addiction.

As a Christian rehabilitation center, we believe in incorporating your beliefs with our expertise to provide a safe, comfortable place in which to start over new. Our doctors and nurses can alleviate the pain of withdrawal while our spiritual leaders can help you turn your focus back to God, recommit yourself to His word, and utilize the power of his love to stay strong in the face of temptation.

At Road to Freedom, we will prepare you to seek forgiveness for your sins and return to life as a faithful, caring, compassionate Christian. Contact us today at (844) 402-3605 to learn more.

Lessons of Hope from the Bible

October 30th, 2017

Hope: Lessons to draw from the bible

Because of the persisting stigma around addiction, those struggling with it often experience a range of negative emotions about their condition. We know by now that addiction is a disease, not a personality defect, and it can’t be cured, but when a large part of society still views addicts as morally sick or weak-willed, people struggling with addiction start to internalize these characteristics.

When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they are almost always going to slip up in their sobriety at least once. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates the national relapse rate at around 40 to 60 percent across all substance addictions. This statistic doesn’t include the number of addicts who try to get clean on their own and fail, another very frequent occurrence.

The result is that people addicted to drugs and alcohol are often overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness, the crushing emotion that accompanies the belief that recovery is impossible. It can be difficult for someone trying to fight a battle with addiction to realize that there is a way to get better, and with the proper professional help, recovery is likely. As far as regaining hope is concerned, an addict can turn to the scripture to find hope, one of the key themes that the Bible instills.

If you or a loved one find yourself struggling with addiction, maybe it’s time to try a faith-based approach to treatment that instills hope during a hard battle. Road to Freedom is a recovery center that uses Christian themes to help addicts find reason to keep battling their condition. For more information, call us at 844-402-3605.

The Hopelessness of Addiction

Why does addiction seem so hopeless? Let’s first look at the way addiction affects the brain. According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug use basically hacks the parts of the brain that respond to rewards and causes the brain to release dopamine, the body’s pleasure chemical, in large amounts. Prolonged use of drugs trains the nervous system to not function normally without the use of drugs or alcohol, so in the immediate start of sobriety, an addict doesn’t receive as much dopamine as they normally would.

You will be secure - JobUnderstandably, this causes some harsh negative feelings. Withdrawal can cause depression and intense cravings among other emotions, but this can make it extremely difficult to get clean and stay clean. This leads a user to feel self doubt, and believe that they will never be able to recover successfully.

Another cause of hopelessness in addicts is societal perception. Because a large part of society doesn’t see addiction for what it is, a treatable disease, addicts don’t often receive much peer support in their daily lives. Internalizing others’ opinion of addicts as lesser humans can make someone addicted to drugs or alcohol feel worthless, and in turn, hopeless.

How Can We Find Hope in Our Darkest Hour?

Hopelessness is an emotion many people struggling with addiction know well. Overcoming this feeling is the key to a successful recovery, but this is easier said than done. One way people have found hope to keep them on a healthy path in life for hundreds of years is through the Bible, and the word of God. Here are some verses that can be used to learn lessons of hope using the scripture as guidance:

Hope Wins Out Against Hardship

“You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety” (Job 11:18).

Many addicts will admit to feeling like Job, occasionally, after the Lord took everything from him as a test of his faith and devotion. If we think of addiction as God testing us, than we should have faith that any circumstance in our life is one that we have the strength to overcome.

Hope and faith were what caused Job to keep going, even when his life was decimated. If we think of a relapse as a symbol for each trial that God puts Job through, addicts know that with hope and faith, life will get better for them if they stay the course.

Hope Can Overcome Shame

“No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame” (Psalm 25:3).

Addicts frequently report feelings of shame about their disease. When society sees you as weak, it can bring about shameful feelings, but as the Bible tells us, hope is an emotion that supersedes shame. God tells us not to feel shame in our sins, as long as they are confessed.

Hope Can Keep Addicts on the Path to Recovery

But those who hope in the Lord - Lessons on hope“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).

No one ever said addiction was easy to overcome, and until a person experiences it firsthand, there’s nothing that can prepare them for how difficult recovery from a physical addiction will be. Isaiah 40:31 says that unyielding faith in God can provide a source of strength to overcome all obstacles, which is what people struggling to fight addiction need to stay the course and not give up to their compulsions.

Be Grateful for the Hope You Have Each Day

Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!” (Ecclesiastes 9:4).

The Bible is clear in the fact that hope is a gift given to man each day he is alive. The kind of hope to overcome sin and hardship is not one to be taken lightly, and by studying the scripture, addicts can be reminded that they should derive hope out of their circumstances, whatever those may be.

Whether rich, or poor, healthy or stricken with addiction or some other malady, the Bible can teach everyone a lesson about hope and faith. Hope is a gift that everyone should treasure, and a feeling that can keep us going, even against the greatest odds. Hope can help an addict feel something other than that he or she is worthless or defective, something that society still projects on people struggling with addiction.

If you or a loved one are in a battle with addiction, you can always turn to God to keep the hope that will help you recover. For more information about how Road to Freedom can help you recover in a faith-based setting, call us today, at 844-402-3605.

3 Ways Christian Addiction Recovery Can Help

October 26th, 2017

Ways Christian Rehab Can help

Drug abuse and alcoholism are addictions that many people struggle with. Many people don’t seek the help they need, and their problem continues to get worse and worse. Your addiction isn’t going to go away on its own, and seeking treatment is the best way to overcome your addiction. At a good Christian addiction recovery center, you can get the care and treatment you need to finally achieve sobriety. The Road to Freedom offers Christian addiction recovery and we’re ready to help you.

Paying for Christian Addiction Treatment

Here are 3 ways Christian addiction recovery can help you achieve sobriety:  

  • Individual therapy. When you work with our counselors one on one it’ll give you a chance to really open up about your addiction. For some, admitting you have a problem can be scary and overwhelming to talk about. In a private setting with one of our counselors you’ll have the chance to open up about the struggles you’re going through and find how we can help you.  
  • Group therapy and support groups. For some who struggle with addiction, they can take a lot out of group therapy sessions. Hearing others talk about their addiction and the things they used to help them will allow you to see what you think will work best for you. Creating a strong support system is important for anyone trying to overcome addiction. With the group therapy offered at The Road to Freedom, you’ll be able to do that.  
  • Faith based healing. At The Road to Freedom we incorporate faith into our recovery programs. Pastoral counseling, bible study, and weekly church service will allow you to renew and strengthen your relationship with God. Being able to turn to God and lean on Him during recovery is something that helps many of our patients.  

Addiction is a disease that affects many people in our country. With the help from our counselors at The Road to Freedom you can overcome your addiction and get sober. You don’t have to allow your addiction to control your life any longer. With the Christian addiction recovery we offer you’ll be able to work on bettering yourself and restoring your faith. Don’t allow your addiction to control your life any longer. Begin your journey towards sobriety today. Call The Road to Freedom and see how our Christian addiction recovery can help you.   

Why Does Jesus Love Me?

October 23rd, 2017

Does Jesus Love Me? Addiction Help

The ever-present nature of Christ’s love is one of the key tenets of Christianity. As a Christian, you know, accept, and embrace the love you feel from Jesus at every turn, both in good times and in bad.

In fact, this truth is so known that it is included in a popular hymn called “Jesus Loves Me” that was written by Anna Bartlett Warner. First appearing in a poem in the 1860s novel Say and Seal, the lyrics state “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” And it’s true – throughout the Bible, messages of Christ’s love are clear, demonstrating the passion Jesus carries for each and every one of his followers.

But why?

This question plagues all followers from time to time but often arises most prominently in periods of turmoil in life that result in an ultimate questioning of the teachings of Christianity. Addiction, inevitably, is one of these times.

Christianity and Substance Abuse

As 1 John 2:16 states, “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” In other words, the temptations in life, like drink and drugs, are not a part of a Godly life, especially not in abundance.

These teachings start early, especially for those dedicated to Christianity from a young age. The perils of sin are a common point in Sunday School, Bible Study, religion-oriented coursework, and prayer as an adult, providing a common thread that sends one clear message: overindulging for the sake of pleasure is not a characteristic of a good Christian. But what about those who do?

Even the most devout and pious among us make mistakes and fall into the clutches of evil. As Romans 3:23 reminds us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” However, this reality can be hard to accept, especially when sins appear to arise out of one’s own personal weaknesses. It’s not uncommon for a few wrong moves to lead to a downward spiral, creating a rift between a believer and Christ.

For some, the wake-up call that stems from a step toward sin is all it takes to right a wrong, beg for forgiveness, and continue on a path to righteousness. But for others, this is the start of a horrible habit, creating irreconcilable differences between belief and behavior.

Reconciling Spirituality and Addiction

The Bible is full of warnings about substance abuse, from Ephesians 5:18 – “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” to 1 Peter 5:8 – “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” – making it easy to arouse feelings of guilt in those who choose to imbibe. With this in mind, it’s understandable how conflicting use and faith can be.

With every drink, toke, or dose, you may find yourself feeling regretful, ashamed, and embarrassed. You may wonder why Christ’s guidance can’t alleviate your urges, or why you can’t use your faith as motivation to quit. You may even find yourself wondering whether Christ loves those who turn against him.

These thoughts, however toxic they may be, are a common struggle in addiction. Many Christians fighting against substance abuse find themselves consumed with questions about the reality of Jesus’ love. Some even doubt whether he truly loves them. In this time, it is critical to accept that Christ’s love is a reality, whether you’re in a healthy mental place or not.

Why Does Jesus Love Me?

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

Simply put, Jesus loves you because you are a follower of His faith and a believer in His word. That’s all it takes to create a loving relationship with the Creator and his son. Christ gave up everything for our sins and loves us all the same, no matter our transgressions while living on the humanly plane.

Keeping the presence of Christ in your heart throughout addiction and into recovery can be a powerful force on the road to sobriety. When facing addiction, it’s common to feel isolated from friends and family members, or to assume that other people don’t understand. This can be a hard hurdle to overcome, and often results in additional use and abuse, despite your goals. However, realizing that Christ loves you regardless of your sins, mistakes, or shortcomings can make these feelings easier to bear. No matter how others have responded to you throughout addiction, Jesus loves you, will continue to love you, and has always loved you.

Still don’t believe it? Think of Christ’s sacrifice. As Romans 5:8 states, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus loves his followers so much that he was willing to die so that we can pursue eternal life. We are all honored in his sight, whether we can feel it today or not. Isaiah 43:4 even tells us this explicitly: “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.”

No matter how dark the depths of addiction may be, Jesus will be there to guide you when you are ready.

Embracing Christ’s Message

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” – James 5:16

The road to recovery is never easy, no matter how strong your faith may be. However, reaffirming your beliefs and adhering to a Godly life can be a critical part of achieving abstinence. By accepting that Jesus loves you, even when your addiction is at its most serious points, you can find the strength you need to move forward.

At Road to Freedom, we can help you on your journey, guiding you through a balance of medical science and faith to find a customized approach to recovery. With tools like doctor-supervised detox, group and individual counseling, Bible study, church services, and more, we’ll help you find a solution that’s right for you.

Please contact Road to Freedom today at (844) 402-3605 to learn more about what we have to offer. All consultations are confidential.

Achieve Sobriety with Christian Addiction Treatment  

October 19th, 2017

At The Road to Freedom, we combine faith based principals with our addiction treatment to best serve our patients. If you’re struggling with sobriety, it’s time to see how a Christian addiction treatment center can help you. Drug and alcohol abuse is far too common in our society and getting treatment is the best way to overcome these addictions. With the help from our caring treatment center counselors you will be able to receive the addiction treatment you need. Sobriety is possible, and it begins when you find the best Christian addiction treatment available.  

Faith Based Treatment

What programs are offered at The Road to Freedom?

At The Road to Freedom we believe that through addiction treatment and the power of God you can overcome your addiction. The struggles that accompany addiction can often lead one to stray from God and lose their faith. At our Christian addiction treatment center you’ll be able to work with our counselors to fight your addiction and also restore your faith in God. The power of prayer and having faith in the Lord are two ways to give you strength as you work towards getting sober. A few of the many programs we offer to help our patients include:  

  • One on one counseling and therapy 
  • Group therapy 
  • Medical detox programs  
  •  Holistic therapy programs 
  • Family workshops 
  • Aftercare treatment  

When you visit a Christian addiction treatment center you’re journey isn’t over once you complete treatment. Reintegrating back into society can be difficult for many patients, which is why we offer aftercare services to help you. Our aftercare services will give you the best chance at sustaining your sobriety. Just because you’re struggling with addiction doesn’t mean you can’t turn things around. It all begins when you see Christian addiction treatment and take full advantage of the programs we offer at The Road to Freedom.  

Your path to sobriety begins when you admit you need help and you decide you want to get sober. With the Christian addiction treatment we offer at The Road to Freedom you can turn things around. Your addiction doesn’t define you. You can get the treatment you need when you come to The Road to Freedom. Call us today to get started and begin your recovery.  

The Treatment Center has been awarded
the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval.