The 12 Step approach to addiction recovery is the best-known system in the world. Since the program was devised in 1935, it has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of people to allow them to live substance-free. The traditional 12 Step approach is now used in alcohol addiction treatment centers around the country.
Many medical professionals are of the belief that the 12 simple steps followed by the system have the greatest impact on addiction. This is mainly because 12 Step groups are easily accessible, free of charge and provide solid support among people with shared principles and beliefs.
Although there is no one approach to addiction recovery that is guaranteed to work for everyone, alcohol 12 Step rehab programs offer people a new way of life without restrictions or covenants. Although opinions are mixed within the addiction community, many believe alcohol 12 step rehab programs to have the highest success rates in achieving long-term sobriety.
How Alcohol 12 Step Rehab Programs Work
The basic premise of 12 Step groups Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is this: The therapeutic value of mutual support among addicts is without parallel in achieving positive outcomes.
The first step of the program is for the individual to admit they have a problem and that they need help from others. This is reinforced as members work through the steps while developing their belief in a higher power, keeping their distance from enabling people, places or things; and reconciling their negative actions while enslaved by addiction.
Many people who have successfully completed an alcohol 12 step rehab program and have maintained sobriety are most appreciative of the direct approach used in group meetings. For many people, 12 step treatment centers provide them with a platform from which they can talk openly about what they’re going through, often for the first time. Through honest and open discussion, members are able to reveal things to others that have been bottled up and concealed from loved ones.
One reason 12 Step remains the most successful approach is that members continue to receive support for the rest of their lives if they require it. Additionally, it is support from a community of people with shared spiritual beliefs which bonds them with mutual understanding. Individuals attending 12 Step treatment centers are afforded the opportunity to form close, trust-based relationships with people who “get” them.
What Are the 12 Steps?
The original 12 Steps were written into the recovery group’s “bible,” the Big Book. Here is a condensed and re-worded version of the original:
Step 1: Admitting there is a problem with alcohol or drugs and that it is something the individual is not able to overcome on their own.
Step 2: Belief that a higher power can help the individual overcome their addiction if they have true faith.
Step 3: Be open to the higher power lighting the path to sobriety and having faith they will help the individual overcome the disease.
Step 4: Looking within to see what flaws are responsible for addictive behavior.
Step 5: Make a list of the mistakes made while in the grip of addiction and own up to them.
Step 6: Get prepared to make significant lifestyle and attitude changes. Consider the negative people and enabling places that have to be avoided in order to protect sobriety.
Step 7: Connect with a higher power and ask them for help
Step 8: Become willing to implement necessary changes at a practical level.
Step 9: Referring to the list of wrongs done while addicted, make amends with every individual negatively affected.
Step 10: Keep a daily record of personal growth, while admitting any mistakes made immediately.
Step 11: Pray and meditate and seek continued guidance to maintain sobriety.
Step 12: Take the 12 Step message to others in need of it and become active in the worldwide community as a way of showing gratitude for sobriety.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of 12 step programs is that it is not a complex process for people looking for faith-based recovery support. Many of the lifestyle changes required by the program resonate with a big percentage of people and its large and supportive membership provides invaluable long-term support. Close relationships and strong friendships are formed in 12 Step treatment centers and some individuals even rediscover their faith again having strayed from the path due as a result of addiction.
Evie Mills is a Business Consultant based in Perth, Australia. Her key areas of interest are human resources, management and accounting. In her free time, she loves listening to music and play with her cute dog.
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