When it comes to 12-step programs, you are not alone if you are interested in them. As a result of these programs, millions of people have been able to overcome addiction and other challenges in their lives. Even though each program differs slightly, they all usually involve working with a sponsor, attending meetings, and completing steps such as admitting powerlessness, making amends, and actively changing one’s behavior.
There may be times when a 12-step program may be needed by someone who is trying to quit using drugs or alcohol. For people who are recovering from substance abuse disorders, behavioral addictions, and sometimes co-occurring mental health conditions as well, these programs can be of great help. With the help of the program, the client can learn new coping skills, feel accepted and supported by the community, and promote long-term recovery through the development of new coping skills. Although not everyone responds to its therapeutic structure, it can be extremely useful for those who are capable of responding to it.
The Original 12-Step Program
A group of alcoholics known as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson (known as Bill W.) and Robert Smith (known as Dr. Bob). Wilson realized that his sobriety depended on assisting others to achieve sobriety. Working with other recovering alcoholics, he developed the now famous 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Thousands of people have found success in recovering from addiction and compulsion by following the steps. Other programs have adapted the same steps to address a variety of addictions and compulsions in addition to Alcoholics Anonymous.
As part of the 12-step program, addicts are encouraged to rely on a higher power to help them overcome their addictions. Higher power can be anything that the addict believes in, such as God, the Universe, or just themselves. As part of the steps, addicts are also encouraged to help others who are suffering from addiction. Addicts can learn from the experiences of others and reaffirm their commitment to sobriety by helping others. Addicts can only heal when they surrender to their higher power, according to the model. To make room for new behaviors and beliefs, addicts must be willing to let go of their old ones. It is only when they are ready to do this that they can truly begin to recover.
Open to People of All Faiths or No Religious Beliefs
The higher power is often thought of as a traditional Christian God, but the truth is that a higher power can be anything that suits your spiritual beliefs. In some cases, people find comfort in the religious aspects of the meetings, while in others, it may be their interpretation of a higher power that comforts them. All religions are welcome, as well as atheists and agnostics, people who do not believe in any religion.
At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide what makes you feel the most connected to a higher power, and there is no specific definition of what that means. In general, the basic idea is to ask for help from a higher power if you need support and guidance. Support can be interpreted in a variety of ways, whether it be from a religious, spiritual, or psychological point of view.
Many Diverse Types of 12-Step Programs
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) has recommended and used programs for a variety of addictions in the past. The organization has estimated that at least 74 percent of treatment centers follow this model. Alcoholics Anonymous is indeed the most famous program, but there are others as well, such as Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon, and Debtors Anonymous. As a result, these programs are often criticized as being based on religion, but, in truth, the steps can be considered spiritual or psychological principles, not religious ones.
If you’re interested in this form of group therapy, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor or a mental health professional read about different 12-step programs or reach out to friends and family members who have had experience using them. Our counselors can assist you in finding the right program for you or in getting started if you need assistance. Feel free to give us a call at 833-820-2922 at any time.