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What is Celebrate Recovery?

Most drug treatment programs and support groups rely on faith in a Higher Power to help you deal with addiction. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous refer only to a general Higher Power, which may or may not be religious. But for those who have a faith in God, choosing a treatment program that is specifically Christian may be a better option for finding help. Many Christian rehab centers use a program called Celebrate Recovery, which takes a unique approach to healing from substance abuse. If you’d like to find a program that uses Celebrate Recovery or just want to ask questions about Christian rehab, call our helpline at 800-256-3490.

The Basis of Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery is a support group based on biblical principles.

Celebrate Recovery was founded in 1990 by Pastors John Baker and Rick Warren of Saddleback Church. The founders felt that the “Higher Power” embraced in Alcoholics Anonymous and similar groups was too vague. They chose to create a program that was specifically focused on Jesus Christ as the Higher Power and based the program on Biblical principles.

Similarities and Differences Between Celebrate Recovery and AA

The Celebrate Recovery program combines many elements of traditional 12-step programs along with the Beatitudes of the Bible. Like other 12-step programs, participants in Celebrate Recovery have accountability partners and a sponsor. Groups meet once a week for large group fellowship and separate small group study of the steps.

One of the major differences between Celebrate Recovery and traditional 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous is how the addict identifies himself or herself. In AA, a member might introduce himself by saying, “I’m John and I’m an alcoholic.” In Celebrate Recovery, a member would introduce himself by saying, “I’m John and I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with alcohol.” The difference in focus is intended to achieve the goal of total recovery from addiction through the relationship with Christ, rather than permanently identifying as an addict.

The Celebrate Recovery Principles

According to Celebrate Recovery, their 8 principles roughly correlate to the 12 steps. From their own literature, the steps of the program are as follows:

Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong things and that my life is unmanageable. (Step 1)

Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him and that He has the power to help me recover. (Step 2)

Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control. (Step 3)

Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust. (Steps 4 and 5)

Voluntarily submit to any and all changes God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects. (Steps 6 and 7)

Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others when possible, except when to do so would harm them or others. (Steps 8 and 9)

Reserve a time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will. (Steps 10 and 11)

Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and my words. (Step 12)

The Importance of Making Amends While You are in Recovery

Criticism of Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery is helpful to many people and provides friendship and support. But the program is more generic about helping any “hurts, habits or hang-ups.” Some critics of the program say that it doesn’t emphasize enough the dangers of alcohol or drug addiction. Celebrate Recovery meetings rarely focus on the fact that continuing to drink can result in death.

Whether you choose a Christian rehab center that uses the Celebrate Recovery program or follow a different approach, you can find the help you need to live a sober life. Call us today at 800-256-3490 to begin your journey.

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Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by a quality treatment center within the USA.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by a licensed drug and alcohol rehab facility, a paid advertiser on

All calls are private and confidential.

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