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What is a 12-Step Program?

What is a 12-Step Program?

In 1935, Bill Wilson and Robert Smith, both struggling with addiction, developed a solution that has since helped countless individuals worldwide overcome their substance abuse struggles. 

Their meeting resulted in the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous, which laid the foundation for the widely recognized 12-step program for addiction treatment.

What is a 12-Step Program?

A 12-step program for addiction consists of a group of non-professional peers who have experienced addiction and have either recovered or are trying to recover from it. 

These programs follow a set of 12 steps and 12 traditions designed to assist individuals in achieving and maintaining sobriety. 

Participation in these programs is typically free, though a small contribution is usually requested if one is able to do so to help cover the costs of maintaining the meeting facilities.

There are 12-step programs available for a wide range of addictions, everything from gambling to opiates. The fundamental principles of these programs are consistent across all groups, although the language used may differ based on the specific addiction being addressed. 

The initial step is considered to be of crucial importance, it requires individuals to be truthful with themselves and acknowledge their addiction as a genuine problem. The remaining steps are a series of transformative actions, with the final three (10,11,12) being focused on maintaining sobriety. 

Adhering to these steps and principles may provide recovering addicts with a daily reprieve from their addiction long after detoxing.

What Are Different Kinds of 12-Step Groups for Addiction?

There are different ways in which addiction can show up. In addition to substance abuse, an addict can also feel obsessed with other forms of dopamine rewards such as gambling, sex, and other forms of self-indulgent behavior. 

As a result, various forms of 12-step programs and support groups have been created to address these different types of addiction. 

Some of the best-known 12-step programs for addiction include – 

Why Choose a 12-Step Program for Addiction

Individuals who are working to overcome addiction have a lot to gain from participating in support groups. These groups can provide a wide range of advantages, including

  • A proven roadmap to getting sober and staying sober
  • Sponsorship
  • Continuous peer support
  • Counseling
  • Learning from the experience of others
  • Realization that the addict is not alone and his or her condition is not unique
  • Constant reminders of what it used to be like and what it’s like now
  • Helping others
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Sober friends
  • Resolving inner conflicts and getting rid of character defects
  • A safe trusting place
  • Relapse prevention
  • Spirituality

How to Find and Join a 12-Step Program for Addiction

After identifying which group is right for their situation, addicts can find 12 step meetings in a variety of ways

Organization Websites

One of the quickest ways to find a meeting is by checking the official website of the 12-step group you wish to attend.

There should be information about nearby meetings on the official website of every recovery program. Online searches should make finding the right website easy for you or a loved one. 

One easy way to identify them is by checking the domain extension. Most of the official organization websites end with .org, indicating that they are non-profits.

Local Websites

The website of a 12-step organization will usually end up redirecting you to a local website representing the organization. Here is where you will likely end up finding meetings that are in your area.

For example, AA Miami-Dade offers meetings local to the Miami-Dade county area for addicts in recovery. A great example is AA EU, where alcoholics in recovery can find meetings throughout Europe.

Online Meetings

As technology cand the global digital transformation continues to evolve so does recovery. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the popularity of online support groups and meetings. 

The need for social distancing during lockdowns has led to a surge in the use of online 12-step programs, which has continued to remain popular even after the pandemic subsided. 

Many 12 step programs for addiction websites list online meetings that are available at the local level and can be accessed by anyone. Online meetings can offer numerous benefits such as the ability to connect with individuals from all over the world who are also working towards recovery.

12-Meetings in Rehab

12-step programs for addiction have a long history of being a building block of addiction recovery—a practice that has also been embraced by the private sector.

Addicts seeking recovery should be wary of any recovery center that does not offer some form of recovery group.

Ava Recovery understands the importance of 12-step programs and offers patients access to meetings and guidance. 

Contact us today and ask for a free consultation.

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