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What Is a 12-Step Treatment Program?

group in a 12-step treatment program

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to addiction recovery, and evaluating the various options can feel overwhelming at times. Fortunately, some options work well across the board regarding addiction recovery. A 12-step treatment program can work effectively on its own or paired with other addiction recovery programs. 12-step programs are highly flexible and widely accessible to accommodate many recovery needs. The common saying is that the 12-steps work if you work the steps.

At A Better State, we have extensive experience matching people with the treatment options that best fit them. To learn more, contact us today at 781.412.1488.

What Is a 12-Step Treatment Program?

The 12-step program is a broad term for several different groups who, in the past, have used various but related methods to deal with substance abuse disorders.

These groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Overeaters Anonymous (OA), and Gamblers Anonymous (GA) to name a few. A commonality between 12-step programs is that they emphasize the importance of honesty, commitment, celebration, and community support.

A 12-step program might be considered an “open source” treatment plan. It is co-created by groups of individuals who have experienced common addictions such as alcoholism, drug addiction, or gambling addiction. It is typically based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), written by Bill Wilson. Meetings usually consist of fellowship, reading from the 12-step literature, working the steps together, group discussions, and occasionally listening to a speaker.

The 12-step method is based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The fundamental idea behind the Twelve Steps was that alcoholism is a disease and that recovery would involve learning to understand and control one’s behavior rather than expecting others or society to take care of it.

Benefits of a 12-Step Program

Often 12-step programs can function on their own as a viable alternative to traditional rehab. This is, in part, because of how accessible 12-step programs are. Their accessibility lies in the fact that they are open to anyone, free to participate in, widely available, and have no requirements beyond showing up. 12-step programs are usually volunteer-led, and a core component is recognizing that each person has different goals, needs, and wants.

Benefits of 12-step programs include:

  • Immediate results through positive reinforcement
  • Increased motivation that comes with group support while still allowing people to make their own decisions regarding their recovery path
  • Free. There is no monetary cost to participate, though many groups ask that members occasionally contribute what they can to a coffee and literature fund
  • Lifelong community and social support
  • Open to anyone, all you have to do is show up to an open meeting
  • Compatible with most agnostic and religious wisdom traditions
  • Highly flexible terms of engagement

The 12-step approach aims to help people recognize their need for help dealing with addictive behavior and begin the process of recovery in earnest. This process requires individuals to admit they have an addiction problem and engage in an active, structured, and supported process of working the steps toward recovery. The 12-step approach has been very effective at helping people with various types of addictions recover from them.

Abstinence from drug use does not cure addiction, without the support of a 12-step program, it’s all too easy to replace drug use with a different addictive coping mechanism. The long-term support and structure of 12-step treatment programs help treat the root causes of addiction.

Contact A Better State Today to Learn More About 12-Step Programs

In addition to expertise in matching people with the best addiction recovery program for their needs, we have numerous treatment options available at A Better State including 12-step programs.

If you’re curious to learn more about addiction recovery options, or ready to get started, reach out o us today at 781.412.1488.