Finding the Right Fit
An important part of developing a solid, individualized recovery plan is to determine which resources are the best fit. For many people, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are places where they find most of the support they need to continue their recovery journey after leaving treatment. Because these programs are so widely known, it is often assumed that they are the only recovery groups available, but there are actually many different recovery and 12 step groups around the world.
Because recovery is unique to each person, some people do not find everything they are looking for in AA or NA. One alternative that may appeal to people who don’t connect with AA or NA, or who want something in addition to those programs, is Celebrate Recovery.
What is Celebrate Recovery?
The Celebrate Recovery (CR) website describes the group as:
- Global (35,000+ churches around the world now participate)
- A safe recovery community
- Not just for people with addictions, but also with high anxiety, co-dependency, compulsive behaviors, financial dysfunction, and eating disorders
- Having separate groups for people with different afflictions
- Located not just in churches, but also in recovery houses, rescue missions, universities, and prisons
- Anonymous and confidential
- Free from profanity
Celebrate Recovery hosts not only recovery meetings, but also summits and other events. They have 5 ministries:
- Broken Chains – for bikers who are passionate about CR
- Celebration Place – for children ages 5-13
- The Landing – for youths in junior high and high school
- Celebrate Recovery Inside – for people who are incarcerated
- CR International – for people outside the United States
They also feature 4 initiatives:
- Welcome Home – for Veterans
- Celebrate Pastors in Recovery/CPR – for spiritual leaders
- Mental Health – for people combating mental illnesses
- Native Nations – for indigenous people
A Christ-Centered Approach
While both AA and NA contain spiritual components, both of those programs allow participants to interpret their spirituality in the way that seems most correct for them. This may or may not align with the Christian faith or any other type of organized religion. CR is designed for those who view Christ as their savior and central to their recovery journey. CR references the Bible and Jesus throughout the program.
12 Steps with a Twist
CR is a 12 step program, but the steps are not identical to the 12 steps of AA or NA. CR pairs the steps it uses with relevant biblical scripture, to give the participants a Christian foundation to their recovery. CR also endorses 8 recovery principles based on the beatitudes, which are linked back to one or more of the 12 steps used within the CR program.
According to the CR Website, there are no online CR groups allowed. While CR does have social media accounts, including a Facebook group that frequently utilizes Facebook live, promotes upcoming events, and offers a “Testimony Tuesday” feature each week, meetings all take place face-to-face. This is a unique stance in a time when groups of all types are seeking to do more and more of their work online.
Each local group is expected to follow the model of the original program, but also to embrace the unique rules of the specific congregation where they are located. There is a map on the CR website, showing the locations of local groups and also a tool contact state reps for the program.
How We Help
At St. Gregory Recovery Center in Iowa, a Catholic rehab program, we offer a full spectrum of addiction treatment services and welcome all clients regardless of faith background. We believe in a loving, powerful God, and we help our clients find the recovery resources that support their unique recovery journey and spiritual needs.