Here’s Why Therapists Suggest 12-Step Programs to Addicts, Alcoholics

Here’s Why Therapists Suggest 12-Step Programs to Addicts, Alcoholics

why do 12 step programs work

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Many people argue that there are more routes to getting — and maintaining — sobriety than solely working the “12 steps of recovery.” This may include inpatient rehab, whole some other methods taken to achieve abstinence include SMART recovery, Celebrate Recovery, Moral Recognition Therapy and traditional therapies. These other avenues tend to not have the length of the longevity of engagement or outcomes traditional Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous 12 step programs have. However, research has indicated that the most effective way to maintain long-term and successful recovery is through Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step program. More people have found and maintained sobriety through working this program than any other method known at the moment. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous programs exist all over the world and people attend meetings with the sole purpose of reaching a spiritual awakening and breaking through their continued obsessions.

Beginning in the 1930s, the 12 steps of recovery began as only 6 steps and as a type of outpatient rehab in a sense. The idea of the 12 steps of recovery came about by a “divine inspiration” leading Bill W. to write the 12 steps. The 12 steps of recovery were made to assist the addicted individual to have a complete psychic change, in order to overcome the obsessions brought on by the addiction, leading to a complete spiritual awakening. Through working the 12 steps of recovery, an individual is assisted with overcoming denial, admitting and taking ownership of their decision-making and actions over time. This is done through a positive peer approach and by looking directly at their own character defects in order to produce behavioral and spiritual changes within themselves. The idea of working alongside another individual in recovery builds support and cohesiveness as well as human connection. When considering drug rehab in Florida, human connection is the main component in sobriety and building a network of sober individuals who are like-minded is key. The benefits of having this support system, also known as a fellowship, is for more accountability, changing people, places, and things, and having other people who understand completely where you have been, are, and will expect to be. Based off of Alcoholics Anonymous literature, the program works for 100 percent of the people who work it 100 percent of the time.

“Exceptionally Effective”

The only people who are unable to be helped by the program are those who have the inability to be honest with themselves. Therefore, the program is exceptionally effective and successful. Often times in an Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meeting, you will hear the phrase, “it works if you work it.” Putting in half of the effort toward the 12 steps of recovery at these alcohol treatment centers means you will receive half of the benefits, leading to a higher chance of future relapse. One of the many reasons that addicted individuals steer clear of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step program is the fear of the unknown and what is to be expected. Also, many fear they will not succeed in the program and will lose everything all over again. Some also fear they will have to open up and become vulnerable to a complete stranger or their sponsor; something they have never done before. The idea of sharing deep intimate details with someone, more than likely being a sponsor who is guiding them through the 12 steps, is very scary to those who have trouble identifying and expressing emotions, to begin with. Many people have not yet come to terms with the shame and guilt they feel for the actions they took while in active addiction, while some are still in denial that a problem even exists. Many also fear the idea of a spiritual aspect and are turned off to the program as a result of learning about this pivotal component.

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are not the only drug and alcohol rehab fellowships to date. Cocaine Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous and more are also outpatient rehab fellowships that directly encompass 12 step programs. The common denominator between these drug and alcohol rehab fellowships is the authentic human connection and rigorous honesty needed to be successful. These drug addiction treatment fellowships are completely anonymous, free and not affiliated with any drug treatment centers. Meetings are open to anyone with a desire to stop the behavior that they find problematic.

To increase accountability and efficacy as well as motivation, a chip and key tag system were created. These systems mark great achievements in sobriety and recovery, as well as mark the amount of time an individual has remained sober. There is also a white chip for any members who are “surrendering,” or starting their recovery path, or for anyone starting their path over. This ceremony differs from meeting to meeting, state to state but the idea of celebrating various lengths of recovery is prominent across the country.

It is safe to say that Alcoholics Anonymous and any other 12-step programs can provide people with endless possibilities of hope and redemption. Many people within these programs — who have similarly considered inpatient rehab as a route toward recovery — go on to have success, families, and careers while continuing to live very peaceful and joyous lives. Alcoholics Anonymous has been the starting foundation for lifelong change for individuals who have not found an answer elsewhere for their alcoholism.

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