One of the most popular 12 step programs for addiction is offered by the group Alcoholics Anonymous. Since its conception in the mid-twentieth century, the step program has been adapted by dozens of other groups to fit various beliefs and addictions people can develop. The main goal is to follow a pre-planned 12 step organizational system to achieve and maintain sobriety for the rest of your life. Many people find this type of structure is helpful to consistently follow and make progress toward their end goal of abstinence from their addiction.
Features of a 12 Step Program for Addiction
The most common feature of a 12 step program is breaking down the system into 12 parts for the person to easily digest and follow. This gives them immediate goals and processes to follow for sobriety.
The next feature of a 12 step program is the steps are sectioned out under a certain category. For example, the first 5 steps could revolve around spirituality or willpower. A common example of the first step is admitting you have an addiction and you need help to overcome it. The next section usually involves embracing the common tactics used to treat addiction, like therapy or having a sponsor. These are designed to create humility and have the person accept the fact that trying to conquer this addiction on their own will most likely lead to relapse. It’s in an addict’s nature to lie, especially to themselves. The last section of steps often consists of maintaining sobriety and keeping up their therapy with reward based systems. The 12 step program is meant to deter fighting this addiction alone and give people the proper tools and support necessary to get and stay clean.
Depending on the 12 step program, it can use different techniques and treat different types of addiction. Some programs include spiritual practices such as prayer or meditation, as where others might just offer the very traditional counseling meetings and group sessions about addiction.
It’s important to remember that if you suffer from addiction you can’t just follow the steps you see for a certain program by yourself. You need to attend the various group and individual meetings with experts and listen to the advice they have to give. Start by contacting your local rehab facility and talk with a representative to see if their 12 step program is the right option for you and your addiction.