The 12 Step Program and How It Can Help a Loved One Through Addiction

by | Feb 11, 2018 | Addiction, Treatment | 0 comments

How support groups like the 12 step program can help treat drug and alcohol addictions

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The 12 Step program originated from Alcoholics Anonymous although it has also been used in Narcotics Anonymous. It’s also popular in support groups, like Marijuana Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, and Crystal Meth Anonymous. The program involves combining faith and therapy with addiction treatment. Its roots date back to the 1930s in Akron, Ohio.

The success rate of 12 step programs, or Alcoholics Anonymous, is largely unknown. However, the New York Times claims that as many as 75% of participants that go through the program remain abstinent. If you are trying to help a loved one get sober, it may be a good idea to encourage them to join a 12 Step program at a treatment facility. This program may be a vital part of an addict’s addiction recovery process.

What Is the 12 Step Program?

addiction treatmentThe 12 Step program is exactly what it sounds like. It follows 12 recovery steps to achieve and maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol. The members in the program support one another by providing motivation and a lending ear. We offer our own version of the 12 step model at Amethyst Recovery. The program welcomes everyone. The only requirement is a desire to get sober. The 12 steps of recovery involved in this program include:

  1. Admitting that you are powerless over a certain drug or alcohol. This step is about letting go, and admitting that you have a problem.
  2. Believing that a power greater than yourself can help you recover. This power does not necessarily have to be god. It’s just a greater power. It can even be your own inner power. This step gives you hope that you can conquer your substance abuse disorder.
  3. Making a decision to turn your power and your lives over to that higher power. This step tries to change your mindset.
  4. Making a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself. This means that you’ll explore your own flaws to determine the underlying causes behind the addiction. This may involve exploring your own mental health, your emotional state or any trauma you’ve experienced. Mental illness or a co-occurring disorder can have a profound impact on drug abuses and the recovery process.
  5. Admitting to yourself and to others about the exact nature of your wrongdoings. To do this, you’ll have to reflect on your past behavior. Coming to terms with some of the darker moments in your past can help ease anxiety, depression and other negative emotions.
  6. Being ready for a higher power to rid you of your flaws. If you go through this process, you will feel more prepared to move on with your life and recover.
  7. Asking the higher power to rid you of your flaws. This practices humility and modesty. It helps change your mindset, so that you are more likely to welcome lifestyle changes.
  8. Making a list of the people you’ve harmed and be willing to make amends with them. Repair strained or damaged relationships with others in your life. This might include coworkers, family members, and friends.
  9. Making direct amends whenever possible. Most drug addicts will work with their sponsors to figure out what the best course of action may be. This might include writing a letter to the harmed individual or even sitting down face-to-face with them.
  10. Continuing to take note of your wrongdoings. The road to recovery is going to be long and tedious. It’s vital that you monitor your own behavior. Learn how to admit you’re wrong, and keep a personal inventory of your wrongdoings.
  11. Learning how to become more mindful or self-aware of your own situation. This can be achieved through various means. It may be through prayer or meditation.
  12. Helping others with their recovery. If you’ve successfully recovered from an addiction to drugs and alcohol, give back to the community by becoming a sponsor. Help others who are addicted to drugs or alcohol become sober again.

The 12 Step program is not meant to replace an addiction treatment plan offered by rehab centers. It is merely a supplement, and one of the many treatment options to consider. To enhance the effectiveness of this program, some members have a sponsor. They can call their sponsors whenever they are on the verge of relapsing.

Types of Meetings

The 12 Step program offers several different types of meetings. Some of the most basic meeting types include:

  • Speaker meetings, which is when some members share their experience with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Discussion meetings, which focus on discussing issues related to alcohol or drug use.
  • Step meetings, which is when members discuss various steps of the program.

The meetings of a 12 Step program can be either opened or closed.

Open meetings are open to the general public. Both alcohol and drug users and their family members and friends are welcomed. This is usually when all members discuss the specifics of the meetings.

Closed meetings, on the other hand, are usually only reserved for members. This is to help create a safe environment where members can confidently discuss private matters.

twelves steps

Encourage a Loved One to Go to a Meeting

The 12 Step program is quite effective, although it may not be for everyone. Still, there’s no harm in going to an open meeting. Encourage loved one struggling with an addiction to attend at least one meeting. This will allow them to get a feel for the environment and for the process.

In fact, if they’re comfortable with it, don’t hesitate to attend the meeting with them. Your loved one may need your support to take the first step in his or her path to recovery.

With the right type of addiction treatment plan, anyone can recover from a drug or alcohol addiction. It may take some time and effort, but those who persevere can lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

Don’t fight addiction alone. Addiction treatment centers, like Amethyst Recovery, offer both outpatient rehab and inpatient recovery programs as part of their abuse treatment.

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