Finding A 12-Step Drug And Alcohol Addiction Treatment Program
While traditional 12-step programs rely heavily on the Twelve Steps as a way of achieving sobriety, more modern approaches combine 12-step principles with other treatments.
This integrated approach gives a person the opportunity to experience a variety of therapeutic methods, from behavioral therapies to medications and holistic treatments.
Some programs base their curriculum only on 12-step principles, while others may simply require clients to take part in on-site or community based 12-step meetings during treatment. At other facilities, participation in these programs may be optional.
Twelve-step addiction treatment options for drug addiction and alcoholism include:
- court-ordered 12-step drug rehab programs
- faith-based Christian 12-step drug rehab programs
- men’s-only 12-step drug rehab programs
- women’s-only 12-step drug rehab programs
Though the Twelve Steps are frequently used in outpatient addiction treatment, individuals who are severely addicted to drugs or alcohol or who have a dual diagnosis may respond better in a residential setting.
Many 12-step inpatient drug rehab programs offer short-term treatment, however, long-term substance abuse treatment is also available.
Long-term programs, such as those that last 90 days or more, generally produce better treatment outcomes. This is especially true for people who have experienced chronic relapse.
In order to choose the best 12-step drug and alcohol rehab program for a person’s needs, it’s important to understand the 12 Steps and the role they can play in recovery.
About The Twelve Steps
As one of the oldest forms of addiction treatment today, the 12 Steps have helped many people achieve sobriety from drugs or alcohol.
The 12 Step model of recovery is based on the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. This well-known fellowship was founded in 1935. Since then, this model has inspired many other 12 step groups and treatment models, including the Minnesota Model of addiction treatment.
Today, the National Institute on Drug Abuse considers 12-step facilitation therapy an evidence-based treatment for addiction to alcohol, opiates, and stimulants.
Opioid drugs that may respond to this therapy include heroin, fentanyl, and prescription painkillers. Stimulants could include cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription ADHD medications.
When paired with other evidence-based practices, such as psychotherapy, a person’s chance of a successful recovery from these and other substances may be higher.
At the core of this self-help group for addiction are the concepts of acceptance, surrender, and peer support. By accepting that addiction is a disease, a person can become empowered to build a drug-free life.
Peer interaction and guidance are a major part of 12-step substance abuse and addiction treatment. Through developing close peer relationships, a person is challenged and held accountable throughout recovery.
What Are The Twelve Steps?
By design, a person can work through the 12 Steps more than one time. As a person grows within their recovery, or if they fear they may relapse, certain steps may become more impactful to them.
The twelve steps are:
- Admitting powerlessness over drug or alcohol addiction and acknowledging that it has made life difficult to manage.
- Believing that a higher power can help us find stability.
- Making a conscious decision to give our life and our will to a higher power.
- Taking an honest inventory of our moral state.
- Confessing our wrongs to ourselves, another person, and God.
- Being open to letting God take away negative parts of our character.
- Going to God and asking Him to take away our shortcomings.
- Putting together a list of people we have hurt and being open to making amends to them.
- Reaching out to these people to make amends, unless it would hurt them to do so.
- Taking personal inventory on a regular basis and admitting we are wrong.
- Through prayer and meditation, improving our relationship with our understanding of God.
- Achieving a spiritual awakening by working these steps and delivering the messages to others who struggle.
Are The Twelve Steps Religious?
While there are many religious 12-step drug rehab programs, a person doesn’t have to be religious or believe in God to take part in this program.
For some, belief in a higher power simply means believing in something bigger than themselves. Even without spiritual beliefs, participants could find great benefit in a 12-step program.
Further, Secular Alcoholics Anonymous, an international organization, provides a secular venue for individuals who wish to take part in the 12 Steps without a focus on faith.
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Types Of 12-Step Programs For Drug And Alcohol Addiction
Beyond the familiar Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, a variety of specialized 12-step programs are available to help those who have more specific addiction recovery needs.
- All Addictions Anonymous
- Chemically Dependent Anonymous
- Cocaine Anonymous
- Crystal Meth Anonymous
- Marijuana Anonymous
- Methadone Anonymous Support
- Pills Anonymous
- Recoveries Anonymous
Having these options gives people an opportunity to find a program that best fits their recovery needs and lifestyle. A good example is the Medicine Wheel and 12-Step program, a culturally sensitive, 12-step drug rehab program for Native Americans.
Additionally, a number of programs exist for people who have other addictions or life-controlling problems, such as Gamblers Anonymous.
Do 12-Step Drug Rehab Programs Work?
Each person facing recovery from drug or alcohol addiction has different treatment needs, and because of this, the exact combination of treatments that work can vary from person to person.
Many people have found freedom from addiction through the Twelve Steps, however, other people find greater success in non-12-step addiction treatment programs.
As individualized treatment for addiction becomes more mainstream, the 12 Steps are increasingly being used in conjunction with other treatment methods. This integrated approach may be more beneficial than a program that uses only the 12 Steps.
Instead of relying solely on the Twelve Steps, these programs support evidence-based behavioral therapies or medications with 12-step principles. This comprehensive approach may include both detox and drug rehab programs.
Individuals who take part in 12-step meetings along with counseling and therapy sessions may feel more invested in the recovery community. The accountability, support, and hope provided by these meetings can be a valuable resource both during and after rehab.
12-Step Drug Rehab Program Pros And Cons
While the 12 Steps can be a valuable part of treatment, they are not a medical treatment for addiction.
In instances of severe addiction, a history of multiple relapses, or co-occurring mental health disorders, a person may need treatments that aren’t available in some 12-step drug rehab programs. Individuals with certain health or medical conditions may also need a more intensive level of care.
Twelve-step programs are often abstinence-based. This means that they require participants to be abstinent from drugs or alcohol both during and after treatment. In certain cases, this may also mean that these programs do not use medications to treat addiction.
Certain medications are considered evidence-based treatments for addiction. This means that scientific research has found them to have a positive and long-lasting impact on a person’s recovery.
Medication-assisted treatment, particularly for opioid and alcohol addiction, may mean the difference between recovery and relapse for certain people. Before choosing a program, a person should have a professional clinical assessment to determine the right course of treatment for their needs.
Even though a person isn’t required to believe in God in order to participate, the spiritual emphasis of 12-step programs may alienate certain people. This could prevent them from obtaining the full benefit of the program.
One of the greatest benefits of the Twelve Steps is their accessibility. Each day, thousands of free meetings take place across the United States, making it easy for a person to find the peer support they need on a daily basis. This can be a great tool for relapse prevention.
Choosing A 12-Step Drug Rehab Program
With so many choices for 12-step addiction treatment, it may seem difficult to find the right program.
Like other forms of treatment, choosing a 12-step alcohol and drug rehab program is a deeply personal decision. Fortunately, trained addiction professionals can assist a person and their loved ones in the treatment planning process.
Reach out to DrugRehab.org today for more information on 12-step drug and alcohol addiction treatment.Sources
Alcoholics Anonymous - The Twelve Steps Of Alcoholics Anonymous
National Institute on Drug Abuse - Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition): 12-Step Facilitation Therapy (Alcohol, Stimulants, Opiates)
Secular Alcoholics Anonymous - Home