The twelve-step model is one of the most popular and long-used approaches to drug rehab. It originated with Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930s, and it now helps people with all sorts of behavioral addictions and drug treatment needs. However, not everyone understands this model for rehabilitation – or agrees with it. In order to get the most effective treatment, addicts should learn as much as possible about how twelve-step drug rehab programs can meet their needs.
Goals and Principles
The twelve-step model is designed to help people manage nearly any addiction with a set of guiding principles. It also involves a “sponsor” system in which experienced addicts assist people who are just starting their recovery processes. In general, participants must begin by admitting to their problems and seeking help from a higher power. They must then examine their negative behaviors and make amends wherever possible. Once they have developed more sobriety-friendly behaviors, they may become sponsors themselves.
The Twelve Steps
There are thousands of support groups and rehab clinics which use the twelve-step model, and most of them involve spirituality or organized religion. The most common interpretation of the twelve steps is as follows:
1. Admitting powerlessness over addiction and behavior
2. Belief in a higher power who can help
3. Turning life over to God
4. Making a moral inventory
5. Admitting wrongdoings to God and other people
6. Being prepared for God to remove character flaws
7. Asking God to remove those flaws
8. Making lists of people wronged; preparations for making amends
9. Attempts to contact and apologize to people whenever possible
10. Continue to self-assess and admit to further wrongdoings
11. Use prayer and meditation to contact God and understand his will
12. Practice the twelve steps in all areas of life and carry the message to other addicts
Finding Strength from a Higher Power
The invocation of a higher power or God during the twelve steps is one of the most beneficial aspects for some people – but also one of the most controversial. Many addicts use prayer to find the inner strength necessary to fight their cravings and confront their personal demons. However, atheists and other secularists take issue with the idea that God is required for drug rehab.
However, there are modified twelve-step models for people who don’t want to include spirituality in their recoveries. Rather than involve God, these programs require participants to turn to their fellow human beings for support. Steps which usually refer to a higher power instead ask addicts to speak with, appeal to, and appreciate their friends and family members.
The Benefits of Aftercare
Many people who attend twelve-step programs do so after completing clinical drug rehab. Doing so can make enormous differences in their abilities to stay sober as they fight ongoing cravings. Similar to their group discussions during inpatient care, addicts can come together with like-minded people to share their stories and sobriety strategies. Weekly meetings can also hold members accountable to their continued recovery efforts and the avoidance of peer pressure.
A Replacement for Clinical Treatment?
Twelve-step community support groups can sometimes help addicts make incredible recoveries. However, beginning with clinical treatment is still the most effective option for most people. Addicts who are severely addicted to alcohol or narcotics will usually require detoxification, as well as extensive therapies from trained counselors. Many clinics will also incorporate the twelve-step model into their overall treatment plans, and some facilities even host meetings for people undergoing inpatient and outpatient care.
If you or a loved one is considering treatment for addiction, there is no time to waste. Call the number at the top of your screen now for a toll-free consultation with one of our compassionate addiction counselors. We’ll customize a drug rehab program to meet your needs and have you back on your feet and living the life you deserve.