Why The 12 Steps Are So Effective For Addiction Recovery

The 12-step model for substance abuse recovery aims to help people not only recover from addiction but also understand their unique triggers. Understanding these patterns can help them avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Most 12-step programs also highlight rebuilding relationships and reestablishing positive communication methods. Given the widespread application of this treatment model,?the impact of 12-step programs on the recovery community is undeniable.

Despite the pivotal role that the 12-step model plays in the recovery of so many individuals, those unfamiliar with the 12 steps may have difficulty understanding the program’s value. However, research shows that those who participate in a 12-step recovery program have a higher likelihood of achieving lifelong sobriety. Furthermore, people who participate in 12-step programs continue to offer support to others long after they reach sobriety. It makes sense for those struggling with addiction or their loved ones to better understand what the 12 steps have to offer.

History Of The Twelve-Step Program

The 12-steps model was introduced by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in the first edition of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) handbook in 1939. Expanding on The Oxford Group?s six basic steps of addiction recovery, Wilson developed the 12-step program as a faith-based treatment program, and it has been tremendously successful ever since.

Even those with no religious affiliation have reported the 12-step program to be extremely helpful in their fight for sobriety, especially when used in conjunction with other treatments. The 12-step programs emphasize communication and accountability. Participants share their fears, hopes and goals with the group and every participant offers support and guidance to one another.

The 12-Steps Of AA

Despite being heavily spiritual in nature, the 12-step program can help anyone of any denomination (or no denomination) to find support and guidance as they work toward sobriety. This is in large part because 12-step programs focus on clarity, transparency, forgiveness, and self-awareness.

The original twelve steps from AA are as follows:

  1. Why Are 12-Step Programs So SuccessfulYou must admit you have a substance abuse problem.
  2. Believe in a power greater than oneself to help restore you.
  3. Decide to submit oneself to this power and work toward sobriety.
  4. Take a moral inventory of oneself.
  5. Admit to and own the wrongs you have done to yourself and others.
  6. Be ready to remove your defects of character.
  7. Ask a higher power to help correct these defects.
  8. Take an inventory of the people you have wronged, and be willing to make amends.
  9. Make direct amends wherever possible.
  10. Take another personal inventory and admit to your faults.
  11. Seek spiritual enlightenment to stay the course toward total sobriety.
  12. Embrace sobriety and help others achieve the same.

Again, it?s important to recognize that every person has his or her own beliefs and spiritual proclivities. While the principles of the 12-steps are based in Christian scripture, anyone from any faith may find support and guidance through the application of the?12-step program.

Why Are 12-Step Programs So Successful?

It?s difficult for researchers to accurately assess the success of 12-step programs due to a lack of formal research and the anonymity associated with such programs. However, 12-step programs are widely available for all manner of substance abuse issues, a?testament to their effectiveness. Generally, 12-step programs create safe places free from judgment and the usual social stigmas surrounding addiction and substance abuse.

Many people who have successfully recovered through a 12-step program enthusiastically attest to the program?s effectiveness. At The Treatment Center, we have heard countless success stories of patients who have reached sobriety with the help of our 12-step program. Many graduates of 12-step programs like AA continue to attend meetings and often sponsor new members for one-on-one guidance and support.

Using 12-Step Models in?Treatment

At The Treatment Center, we believe every patient deserves an individualized plan for achieving sobriety, and these plans often include participation in our 12-step program. Patients with no religious affiliation or inclination can find support and guidance from other members, and the 12-step model provides an open forum for airing concerns, doubts and hopes with peers in similar situations.

Reach out to The Treatment Center if you?re unsure about whether a 12-step program can help you or a loved one attain a lifetime of sobriety. Our admission counselors are waiting to speak to you about your questions concerns.

Get Our Guide to the 12 Steps of Recovery