12 Steps of Recovery: How These Programs Work

Then you are required to confess these wrongdoings to another person. This section ends with you making a list of the people that you’ve wronged in the past with the intent to make amends with each of them. The Center For Integrative Change helps individuals and couples struggling with addiction and trauma. Vertava Health can connect you with the online resources, professional support, and the comprehensive, evidence-based support you need to achieve recovery. Contact us today and we’ll help you find a treatment plan that will work best for you, to help you attain your long-term recovery goals. Discover a new and rewarding life in recovery, beginning today.

pros and cons of 12 step programs

If you have access to an addiction specialist, consult with them before making a decision. A therapist can offer guidance in the right direction when it comes to choosing an aftercare recovery solution. While there are many different twelve-step programs out there, the two main ones address the biggest addictions — narcotics and alcohol. One could consider these two programs the birth of 12-step programs. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

They help by reaching goals and working through more of the steps on their spiritual journey. Sponsors are experienced members who have either completed the steps or have displayed significant progress through the steps. Upon entering the program, you will have the option to choose your sponsor, but if you’re undecided, you will be directed to a sponsor that is a seemingly good fit. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

SMART Recovery

Celebrate Recovery® is a popular 12-step program that has a specifically Christian focus. While AA and NA both have spiritual components and acknowledge a higher power, Celebrate Recovery® acknowledges Jesus as that high power. There are several types of 12-step programs available all over the world. Since Alcoholics Anonymous pioneered the program, the 12-steps have been applied to many different addiction-related issues with very little variation. After people that were addicted to other substances started to show more and more interest in the program, Narcotics Anonymous was formed.

Twelve-step programs begin with the requiring the addict to acknowledge and surrender to a Higher Power, which those of faith identify as God or the god of their belief system. Moreover, as Ernest Kurtz describes in his bookThe Spirituality of Imperfection, the 12-step model is based on ancient traditions that are prevalent throughout the world’s religions and faiths. Finally, the powerlessness model of the 12-step programs is easy to understand and to apply to one’s life.

Bedrock Recovery Center offers 100% confidential substance abuse assessment and treatment placement tailored to your individual needs. The 12 Step programs have been adapted to include other addictions. These are used for other substance abuse problems, such as opioid addiction.

This surprising advice coming from a doctor would later be echoed by the psychologist Carl Jung when he treated a patient named Rowland Hazard who would later be instrumental in forming AA. Jung told Hazard that his only hope of recovery excessive alcohol consumption can affect bone health after several relapses was to “become the subject of a spiritual or religious experience” or a “genuine conversion,” as reported by Wilson in “The Big Book”. In the mid-1930s, a man named William Wilson struggled with alcoholism.

Such programs can also be helpful for long-term support and care. Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research.

pros and cons of 12 step programs

The only way to achieve this and accomplish something great is admitting there is an actual problem that needs to change. Upon the acceptance of powerlessness to drugs, alcohol, and destructive behaviors, the next step is to allow a higher power to take control of your life. Once this has taken place, it is possible to move on and accept help and guidance from the higher power and other members.

Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.)

AA. NA. CA. These are all familiar acronyms that reflect the various 12-step, abstinence-based treatments that are designed to help an individual maintain sobriety. These self-supported fellowships are the original abstinence-based intervention, dating back to 1935. Since then, a significant evidence-base has developed around the 12-step treatment philosophy showing that it can be effective in helping reduce substance use (Kaskutas et al., 2009).

Someone wishing to seek help through a 12-step program can do so at no cost. And with cost of treatment being a primary barrier for most people, 12-step programs can offer a life-line of much-needed support. Someone within the program can choose to work with a person who has been through the steps and has remained in sobriety for at least five years. While not a therapist, a sponsor can what is a halfway house offer a level of support unique to the program, in that they have survived addiction and successfully completed the program. Evidence supports the effectiveness of AA and NA, though few studies have been concluded due to the high level of anonymity of these programs. While all three treatment types showed promise, the 12-step program resulted in the most significant long-term impact.

Alternatives to 12-Step Recovery Programs

Twelve-step programs are programs that are designed to help people recover from various types of addictions. Alcoholics Anonymous was the first 12-step program, founded in the 1930s by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith. The AA program has been adapted to help other addictions including Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, and many more. Many struggling with substance abuse ask our NJ drug addition experts if the 12-step program is an effective way to change their lives for the better. Thus, between the abstinence-based and harm reduction treatment programs, we can create a larger menu of treatment options.

  • But with so many treatment centers utilizing the 12-step method or referring people to programs like AA and NA, it’s important to know if that’s a positive next step after treatment.
  • Many addicts who are also people of faith find 12-step programs attractive and helpful because of their emphasis on spirituality.
  • The first four steps help to increase a person’s readiness to change.
  • The Twelve Steps themselves are the essence of Alcoholics Anonymous.

These groups offer access to free support and foster a community-based approach to sobriety. However, there are many types of 12-step programs out there, and finding the right one can make a significant difference in your recovery journey. While 12-step programs employ some elements that are similar to evidence-based alcohol use disorder approaches, they are best used as a supplemental approach to treatment. They may be best as a free or low-cost way to continue to pursue recovery after formal addiction treatment. As previously mentioned, there is some evidence to suggest that 12-step programs can help people that are in recovery.

For one, if you’re undergoing medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder, NA may not be the best option. Addiction is complex, so it makes sense that there wouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. And joining is easy — all you have to do is walk in the door. AA and NA provide a sense of structure and community that can be hugely beneficial.

Understanding the Types of 12-Step Programs & How to Find the Right One

This is a result of the many millions of people who utilize the 12 Steps, but have different spiritual views. It was originally written for alcoholics who needed help, but could not attend a meeting. In time, the Big Book became the guide for many of the 12 Step programs used today.

Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12‐step programs for alcohol use disorder. If you are seeking treatment for substance abuse, it must be the best fit. It often takes individuals suffering from substance use dependence many years before they are willing to admit they have a problem. You want to make sure that you have done your due diligence on selecting the best rehab. Addiction treatment is not a cure; however, it is necessary if recovery is possible in most cases.

Just how many people are able to get and stay clean using 12-step programs would be a guess, at best. New Beginnings is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to give medical advice. The information provided by New Beginnings through phone, email or web support should not be used for diagnosing or treating any physical or mental health condition or disease.

Pros Of The 12-Step Recovery Program For Drug And Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Opiate addictions often require medications to help the patient slowly withdraw from opiates. Some may be used to help lessen or manage withdrawal symptoms. Medically assisted treatment can help the patient with a safe detox. This is often done through an inpatient facility that provides around-the-clock care. At Bedrock Recovery Center, treatment program options for opiate addiction are offered by using residential programs that begin with detox.

Different Types of 12-Step Program Meetings Near You

This program is focused on helping people overcome addictions by focusing on their values and integrity rather than embracing a higher power. It encourages members to make sobriety the top priority in their life and take whatever steps they need to stay on the path to recovery. Though the original Twelve Steps of AA have been adapted over time, the premise of each step remains the same for all recovery programs that use a 12-step model. Have found that these steps were not merely a way to overcome addiction, but they became a guide toward a new way of life. Some of the best-known 12-step programs include Alcoholic Anonymous , Narcotics Anonymous , and Cocaine Anonymous .

It notes that while addiction is a treatable disorder, there is no cure. Accessibility – There are meetings available at all times of the day, in different areas , and with different formats, so there is a lot of support available. Sponsorship – One of the only program models that uses sponsorship as a recovery tool. As you can imagine, over the last 70 years and even more so recently, there have been many newer rehabilitation programs developed. There are a lot of different programs out there and it would take a very long article indeed to cover them all.

The reason behind this is teaching lessons of spiritual ideas and experience as a result of personal growth. Religious undertones – For those who are not open to religion or spirituality, the religious undertones of some 12-step programs may be off-putting. No accountability – Because 12-step programs are anonymous, there is no accountability for not attending. And their options, as well as where you can find Non-12 step treatment centers, contact New Beginnings today. Our counselors will be glad to answer any questions you may have concerning 12 Step and non-12 Step programs.

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