How Celebrate Recovery Can Help You Stay Sober


By |October 3rd, 2019|12 StepsPracticing Recovery

Since its inception in 1991, Celebrate Recovery has become a vital source of support for millions of men and women living with substance use disorders. The program is offered at over 35,000 locations around the world—including churches, rescue missions, recovery houses, universities, and prisons. If you’ve completed residential treatment and are preparing to make the transition back to independent living, we encourage you to learn how Celebrate Recovery can help you stay on track with your recovery journey.

About Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery is a Bible-based self-help group for people struggling with a wide range of hurts and hang-ups. These include:

  • Drug addiction
  • Alcohol addiction
  • Eating disorders
  • Gambling addiction
  • Codependency
  • Anger management
  • Past trauma or abuse

Like Alcoholics Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery does not charge members to attend meetings or require any pre-registration. Meetings are often held in churches, but you do not need to be a member of the hosting church to attend. You can find a meeting near you by using the meeting locator on the Celebrate Recovery website. State representatives are also available to provide assistance starting or expanding Celebrate Recovery groups.

Celebrate Recovery meetings ask members to abide by the same anonymity and confidentiality requirements as AA and other 12-Step groups. However, in keeping with the group’s Christ-centered focus, members are asked to refrain from using offensive language and graphic descriptions of addiction-related behaviors.

Program Basics

While Alcoholics Anonymous is sometimes viewed as a faith-based group, the organization is non-denominational. Members are free to interpret the “higher power” referred to in the 12-Steps however they wish. Celebrate Recovery expands on the principles of AA by adding a Christian focus. Members can attend Celebrate Recovery as an alternative to AA or as a supplemental source of accountability and support for their recovery journey.

Celebrate Recovery uses 12-Steps that are similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, but each step is paired with a Bible verse. For example, Step 1 says, “We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.” The corresponding Bible verse is Romans 7:18 NIV “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 Eight Principles form a road to recovery based on the Beatitudes. These were the words Jesus spoke at his Sermon on the Mount, which he began by stating that the pathway to change and happiness may not be exactly what we’re expecting.

Celebrate Recovery has three distinct lesson plans: Step Studies (small-group discussions of the 12 steps), The Journey Begins, and The Journey Continues. Typically, the program runs on a one-year repeating schedule.

How Celebrate Recovery Can Help You Stay Sober

There’s no one approach that works for everyone, but Celebrate Recovery can be an effective tool for lasting sobriety due to the following factors:

  • Members are encouraged to surrender to Christ. Spiritual commitment is the cornerstone of the program, using the Bible as God’s word.
  • The program places a high value on accepting personal responsibility. Members learn that while you can’t control everything that happens, you can control how you choose to respond to the circumstances you are facing.
  • The program focuses on the future, instead of going over the past and worrying about previous mistakes or misdeeds.
  • Since the program is open to people struggling with a wide range of hurts and hang-ups, some people may feel less stigmatized attending this sort of support group. The structure of the program also allows participants the freedom to choose to attend with a family member who wants to show their support for their recovery efforts.
  • Gender-specific open share small groups are held after the large group meeting to provide a place for participants to share concerns in a more intimate environment. This may be helpful for people who are uncomfortable sharing certain aspects of their recovery story in a mixed-gender environment.

You can learn how Celebrate Recovery has helped people find a way out of addiction by reviewing some of the member testimonials on their website.


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