12 Step Addiction Treatment
12 step addiction treatment programs refer to the support groups that are available for people who are struggling with destructive behaviors like substance abuse and addiction. Most of these meetings are widely available across the United States, and almost all of them are free and easily accessible. They also consist of addicts who share their experiences so that they can gain hope and strength to continue overcoming their substance use disorders.
Today, 12 step addiction treatment is used by millions of substance users across the globe. Their primary goal is to encourage members to learn and adopt certain guiding principles - commonly referred to as the 12 steps of addiction recovery.
By following these steps, you can learn how to achieve and maintain long term abstinence from all the behavioral, physical, and psychological problems related to your substance abuse and addiction. Additionally, you can form bonds with other participants while learning new lessons that could potentially last for the rest of your life.
The philosophy adopted in most 12 step addiction treatment program was pioneered by AA - Alcoholics Anonymous. It is now used by over 74 percent of all the drug and alcohol rehab programs across the United States.
The basis of this model is that it is possible for you to work with other addicts in settings that will allow all members to help each other in the attainment of complete sobriety and recovery. However, the model also holds that you cannot heal unless you surrender to God, or a higher power.
Although 12 step addiction treatment is often a positive force, you may struggle with the religious element of this type of program. For this reason, there are 12 step alternatives that you may be able to use if you would prefer a secular foundation in your treatment and recovery.
That said, almost all of these treatment programs use the following 12 steps in tackling substance abuse and addiction problems among their participants:
- Admitting that your life has become unmanageable due to drug and alcohol abuse while also admitting to God, other human beings, and to yourself the nature of all your wrongs
- Admitting your powerlessness over substances of abuse
- Asking the higher power to remove all your shortcomings
- Being entirely ready to surrender to the higher power so that all your character defects can be removed
- Believing that there is a power greater than you that can help to restore your sanity and sobriety
- Continuing to take an inventory of yourself and promptly admitting when you are wrong
- Experiencing spiritual awakening due to these 12 steps while also trying to carry the message of 12 step addiction treatment to other substance users and addicts
- Making a conscious decision to turn your life and will over to the greater power - or to God as you understand him
- Making a list of all the people that you have harmed in the course of your substance abuse and addiction and starting to make amends to them
- Making direct amends to all the people you harmed while addicted - expect when doing so could potentially injure them (or others)
- Searching for and making a fearless moral inventory of yourself
- Seeking to improve your conscious contact with the higher power through meditation and prayer, praying to know His will in your life, and asking for the power and courage to carry this will out
Apart from these 12 steps, there are certain traditions that speak to 12 step addiction treatment. These traditions are taken to be the governing rules that need to be adopted on the recovery journey. They include:
- Anonymity is of primal importance to all 12 step support group traditions
- Each group should decline outside contributions while also being fully self-supporting
- Every group is autonomous unless there are matters that could affect other groups or the entire 12 step movement
- For the purpose of the group, a loving God is the ultimate authority
- Personal recovery always depends on the unity of the 12 step recovery group
- The groups are non-professionals although service centers can employ specialists
- The groups have no opinions on external matters
- The groups should never be organized but can create committees and service boards
- The groups should never lend, finance, or endorse its name to other enterprises and facilities
- The only requirement to join a 12 step group is your ongoing desire to stop abusing drugs and drinking alcohol
- The primary goal of each group is to carry the recovery message to other addicts and alcoholics
- Your common welfare always come first
Who Is 12 Step Addiction Treatment Best For?
12 step addiction treatment might be the right solution for you if you are addicted to certain substances and need the help of a support group during your recovery journey. Examples of these groups include:
- Cocaine Anonymous
- Crystal Meth Anonymous
- Co-Dependents Anonymous
- Marijuana Anonymous
- Pills Anonymous
You can also join such a group if you have a family member or close relative who is struggling with a substance use disorder and/or a co-occurring mental health or medical disorder. Examples include Alateen, Nar-Anon, and Al-Anon.
Further, 12 step addiction treatment might be useful if you would be able to benefit from the following tools and practices:
- Achieving self-acceptance
- Adopting new tools to ensure that the recovery process is continuous all through the rest of your life
- An opportunity to practice self-restraint
- Building of self-esteem in your positive non-drug related capabilities
- Compassion for addicts as well as for those who may have been affected by your substance abuse
- Making a conscious decision to control your substance abuse and addiction through external guidance and help
- Promotion of self-restraint
- Renewed ability to recognize your substance abuse problem and admit that it exists
- Renewing your ability to change your drug and alcohol seeking and using behaviors
- Self-awareness and observation of all the behaviors that created or led to your substance abuse and addiction
- Surrendering to the understanding that you are addicted
Through these tools and experiences, 12 step addiction treatment can prove to be a route of positive change that could potentially reduce and eliminate your substance abuse and addiction. This makes it ideal if you are addicted and wish to overcome this condition so that you can recover fully.
How Long Is This 12 Step Addiction Treatment?
12 step addiction treatment is often provide as part of a continuum of care. This means that it can be part of inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment. As such, the duration of this recovery program will largely depend on the type of rehab that you have chosen.
Even so, SAMHSA - the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services - reports that you may be able to have positive outcomes in recovery if you spend a minimum of 90 days in such a program.
However, since 12 step treatment is an ongoing process that will start while you are enrolled in a drug rehab program and continue long after you have graduated from such a program, you can expect to spend more than 90 days - to over a year - in such a program.
Average Cost of 12 Step Addiction Treatment
As we mentioned earlier, 12 step addiction treatment is often provided free of charge if you are taking it is as a standalone form of recovery. However, you may have to pay for it if your participation is part of an ongoing drug or alcohol rehabilitation program. The cost will largely depend on whether you are enrolled in an outpatient or inpatient drug rehab program.
How Do I Go About Finding 12 Step Addiction Treatment?
There are tens of thousands of 12 step addiction treatment located across the United States. To this end, it should not be too difficult to find one that could work well in helping you overcome your substance abuse and addiction.
The important thing is that you look for one that is located close to you so that you can minimize the amount of money and time you spend accessing the meetings that these 12 step groups offer.
12 step addiction treatment is now recognized as one of the best types of evidence based addiction recovery. Research studies also show that most of these programs are effective in the management of substance related disorders.
If you think that you can benefit from this type of treatment, it is recommended that you find one. However, you can also ask a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center to help you look for the right 12 step program for you.
As long as you continue participating in the 12 step group meetings on a regular basis while also practicing the lessons and skills that you have been learning from them, you should be able to overcome your substance use disorder while also turning your life way from drugs and alcohol to sober living.