Many addiction programs invoke religion and spirituality to encourage participants to maintain sobriety. Religion is a powerful force and as they say, faith can move mountains. But where does that leave atheists or even those that don’t quite have the same religious values as those being preached and used in a given addiction program?

If you’re an atheist and are struggling with addiction, then read on to learn about atheists and addiction treatment.

Non-Religious Program

As an atheist, you can either look for de-addiction programs that do not use religion as a part of their process or you sign up for a program that does use religion, and you try to focus on the non-religious aspects of the program. This isn’t really an easy thing to do.

The traditional approach to addiction treatment invariably involves religion, prayer, and spirituality. The most famous example is of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). However, with this program you are free to pray to any god or Higher Power of your choice. You could pray to your own conscience to give you the strength and determination to see the program through. Such programs that give this kind of leeway to the participants are a good choice for atheists.

Science-Based Approach

Psychological outpatient addiction treatment follows a science-based approach and generally eschews introducing faith into the process. These programs are an alternative for those who do not believe in god. Secular addiction treatments that rely on scientific theories and empirical data may include inpatient and outpatient treatment centers. You should check if the options mentioned above are available in your locality.

Addiction treatment for atheists follows the established protocols for recovery. These include screening to check if the subject is suffering from disorders that may have arisen from substance abuse, Assessments follow screening to learn about the extent to which the subject has become addicted, and then select a treatment methodology best suited for his situation. This is the right time for atheists to inform that they would prefer a non-religious treatment procedure.


Detox is the next step. Detoxification at a properly equipped facility reduces the risks of relapse. Doctors at such facility have the skill and experience to handle withdrawal symptoms that the patient may exhibit.

Detox is followed by treatment in a secular environment where religion is not used as a tool to help with the process of healing and recovery. Group therapy in such treatment facilities is invariably secular in its approach.


Aftercare is the next step and it gradually eases the addict back into the world where he will continue to need support and direction from family, friends, and possibly a mentor that therapists may assign to the addict.


It isn’t difficult to locate addiction treatment centers for atheists. Hired Power can help you communicate with such treatment centers. Our experience in addiction intervention and providing services that help the addict transition smoothly to full recovery can help you regain sobriety and maintain it. Call us to learn more. 800-910-9299