Addiction is a complex disease that affects everyone differently. At the same time, when people get sober, everyone has their own unique recovery journey. 12-Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are the options of choice for more than 2 million alcoholics and addicts in recovery worldwide.
12-Step programs exist as mutual support groups with the goal of staying sober and helping others stay sober. These fellowships are peer-led and are not a substitute for professional substance abuse treatment. Instead, they are often used in conjunction with addiction treatment as well as in recovery by sober individuals to help them maintain their sobriety.
While 12-Step fellowships don’t provide formal counseling or treatment, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2013 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services found that 12-Step programs are used by approximately 75% of drug and alcohol rehab centers in the United States. Addiction treatment centers that incorporate 12-Step ideologies and programs into their treatment are considered a 12-Step rehab.
What are the 12-Steps?
The 12-Steps are a set of twelve guidelines or principles that were developed by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith. The 12-Steps were developed for AA, but they were adopted and are still currently used by dozens of other 12-Step groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), and many others.
Members of 12-Step groups are supposed to work each of the 12-Steps with the help of a sponsor who has worked the 12-Steps before with his or her own sponsor. The idea behind the steps is to admit powerlessness over the disease of alcoholism/addiction, ask for help from something greater than you, make amends for your past mistakes, and help others achieve sobriety, too.
The 12-Steps are:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs.
While the steps were derived from Christianity, 12-Step programs are secular, so they are not associated with any one religion. “God” or a “Higher Power” can be anything you want it to be. Members of the fellowship often say the programs are spiritual–not religious. These programs can even support people who are atheists or agnostics.
How Does 12-Step Rehab Work?
12-Step addiction treatment programs use 12-Step philosophies in their therapy sessions. Therapists may discuss how 12-Step fellowships support recovery and how they work. Therapy sessions may also use ideas such as “powerlessness” or “disease” to describe addiction and alcoholism because these ideas tie into the 12-Steps and encourage participation in the programs.
The primary reason why 12-Step rehab centers stand out is that they may facilitate their own 12-Step meetings among clients and bring clients to local 12-Step meetings in the community. In-house meetings may be informal and led by clients so they can get to know one another and build a support group, while outside meetings allow clients to get familiar with the local recovery community.
During outpatient rehab, clients may have to attend a certain number of meetings each week at the discretion of their therapist.
Benefits of 12-Step Participation During and After Rehab
Because 12-Step members remain anonymous, there are no membership lists or reliable statistics available to describe just how effective 12-Step programs are. However, they remain the most popular option for an addiction recovery-based support group among people in recovery.
During rehab, clients can benefit from 12-Step programs because they give clients hope for recovery. 12-Step fellowships allow members to share their experience, strength, and hope to help others, and these messages can be inspiring to people who are in early recovery. It can also be reassuring to be familiar with local 12-Step meetings so you know where to go for support after leaving treatment.
Benefits of engaging in 12-Step fellowships include:
- An opportunity to develop a sober support network and connect with other recovering individuals
- You can find them in every state and almost every country
- These programs help individuals stay committed to their sobriety
- The opportunity to help others can be fulfilling
- The steps provide a framework for living sober
- Group members hold one another accountable to go to their meetings and stay sober
Find a 12-Step Rehab Center in New Jersey Today
At Moving Mountains Recovery, we believe that it is vital for treatment providers to assist clients in finding a passion for life. Our goal is to do just that; to guide our clients toward discovering something that gives them purpose. Nestled in the quiet serenity of Randolph, New Jersey, our innovative recovery programs help individuals find the motivation necessary to persevere through challenging situations.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and are ready to begin your recovery journey, we can help. Call now to speak with a qualified admissions coordinator.