The 12 steps drug recovery programs give people a framework from which to surrender their addiction, process their experience, and move forward into new patterns. The basic premise of 12-Steps is that people can help one another achieve and maintain abstinence from substance abuse, but that healing cannot come about unless people with addictions surrender to a higher power. The 12-Step movement can be a force for good for many people, but some struggle with the religious basis of the program. Most drug and alcohol addiction treatments offer alternatives to 12-Step methodology for those who are opposed to the idea of a higher power.
The 12 Steps Traditions
The 12 Traditions speak to the members of Alcoholics Anonymous as a group, unlike the steps, which are focused on the individual. The traditions are defined in the Big Book, the main governing literature of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Choosing a 12-Step Program
Choosing a 12-Step recovery program is your personal decision. It’s important that you feel comfortable with any facilitators, staff and your fellow program participants. Feeling a supportive environment of respect and camaraderie will help encourage you to keep up your treatment program and recover more effectively.
Some Personal Changes during 12 Steps Recovery Programs
- Cognitive changes;
- Emotional changes;
- Behavioral changes;
- Social changes;
- Spiritual changes.
Alternatives to the 12 Step Programs
Some people don’t like basing their recovery on the idea that they cannot control their addiction, when there is evidence that there are ways of practicing internal control over the recovery process.
Most experts believe that a research-based, partial hospitalization program that is customized to an individual’s needs is the most effective method to achieve and maintain recovery. Whether this program includes 12-Step aspects, is based on the 12-Step concept, or is an alternative to this original model of addiction treatment, it’s important that care is customized to the individual. Working with an outpatient drug rehab professional is a good way to find the treatment modality that is appropriate for each person, leading to the best path to recovery.