Josh Duggar in Rehab: Inside the No-Frills Center Treating 'Addiction in a Biblical Way'
"We deal with everything from a sin standpoint,"a key member of the faith-based center speculated to be treating the reality star tells PEOPLE
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Embattled reality star Josh Duggar may have a difficult road to recovery ahead.
Duggar, who checked himself into rehab Tuesday after admitting to cheating on his wife, Anna, and being addicted to pornography, is believed to be recovering at the faith-based rehab center Reformers Unanimous in Rockford, Illinois.
Tony Richardson, director of development with Reformers, is giving PEOPLE an inside look at the treatment program, which he describes as being “based solely on The Bible.”
“It is not a country club,” Richardson tells PEOPLE of the 1.5-acre, no-frills facility that was once the site of a nursing home.
Reformers can treat up to 40 men at once. Patients are placed two to a room, each with a shared closet, bunk bed and two desks. There’s no email, no cell phones and little television. The patients can watch approved TV shows on Saturdays and Sundays, and there is a game room for free time. Mornings begin early, and lights out is at 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends.
“It is like going to college, but I don’t know if it is as nice as that,” says Richardson.
Citing patient confidentiality, Richardson would not confirm or deny Duggar is a patient at the treatment center, which charges $7,500 for six-month stretches. But the Duggars have a relationship with the center, with Josh’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, speaking at a key note event there in October 2014.
“I believe they have referred people here in the past. I am not sure how they heard about us but we are grateful they have,” Richardson says of the family.
Families are considered key to recovery, both during and after the program, when they are called upon to provide moral support. During treatment, communications with families are monitored, but after 60 days, patients can go out with their families or approved visitors on the weekends.
Richardson says that Reformers’ methods have yielded a more than 80 percent success rate, and he credits local churches for supporting the men after they leave, affectionately referring to the local church as “God’s support group.”
“When people leave and go home, we have an aftercare plan we encourage for their success and continued victory – getting involved with a local Bible-believing church and continuing on with their relationship with the Lord,” says Richardson.
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At Reformers, every man works as part of their rehab, with some serving as cooks, mechanics or groundskeepers. Richardson says a key to recovery is the men learning to “fulfill a full-time job and still be able to grow spiritually.”
“We deal with everything from a sin standpoint,” he says of their approach to addiction, acknowledging that Reformers does not medically treat drug dependency, instead depending on outside help for that.
“We don’t do that internally, but we work with others. We do that through families and our family members where we assist in getting the help that is needed,” he says.
The typical six-month stretch is divided into 45-day segments, and it’s likened to college in that patients can technically leave at any time – they just would just not be considered to have completed the program.
“We call it to the school of discipleship. The closer you get to the Lord, the further you get from what brought you here,” says Richardson, adding Reformers has worked with more than 100 jails and prisons to help convicts.
On Wednesday, the Duggar family announced Josh had entered rehab after reports emerged that he had a membership to the cheating website Ashley Madison.
“We are so thankful for the outpouring of love, care and prayers for our family during this most difficult situation with Josh,” read a statement posted to the Duggar family website Wednesday. “As parents we are so deeply grieved by our son’s decisions and actions. His wrong choices have deeply hurt his precious wife and children and have negatively affected so many others. He has also brought great insult to the values and faith we hold dear.”