Since its founding in the 1930s, the 12-Step program has become one of the most widely used approaches to treat substance abuse and other addictions and compulsions.
What is the 12-step addiction program?
The 12 Steps were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous to establish guidelines for the best way to overcome an addiction to alcohol.
The 12-Step philosophy pioneered by this group is used by about 74 percent of treatment centers.
The Core Premise and Philosophy of the 12-Step Program
The basic premise of this model is that people can help one another achieve and maintain abstinence from substances of abuse, but that healing cannot come about unless people with addictions surrender to a higher power.
The core philosophy of the 12 Steps emphasizes personal accountability, abstinence, humility, honesty, powerlessness over addiction, and connection with a higher power.
Although the 12 Steps are heavy on spirituality, many nonreligious people have found the program immensely helpful. The language emphasizes the presence of God as each participant understands him, allowing for different interpretations and religious beliefs.
Here are the 12 Steps as defined by Alcoholics Anonymous:
Benefits of using a 12-step program for addiction
There are a number of benefits of using a 12-step program during addiction treatment and recovery. Some of the benefits of a 12-step program include:
Providing a Supportive Community: People in recovery from addiction require a support system in order to have people to rely on that can motivate, encourage, and hold them accountable. A 12-step program offers a community of support as it initiates a group setting. This provides opportunities to develop relationships with people who share the same experiences, emotions, thought processes, goals, and more with peers who are also in recovery from addiction.
They Encourage Motivation to Stay on Track: During 12-step program meetings, people are encouraged to remain motivated in their recovery. This is because these groups provide a safe space for people to share their testimonies, their struggles, and their accomplishments in recovery. When a person has a safe and inviting place and the opportunities to share with others, they can gain motivation from these gatherings.
They Offer Structure: Establishing new, healthy routines is a part of effective recovery. A 12-step program provides individuals with the information they need to establish these routines and get a sense of structure from their schedule. This can help with motivation, feelings of isolation, and boredom which can lead to cravings and relapse.
They Can Give A Chance to Help People: Part of the steps is helping others. Helping people can assist with the recovery process. During 12-step groups, people have a chance to share their experiences and offer support to other people.
Using a 12-step program as part of your treatment planning at agape wellness
We incorporate the 12 – Steps and their principles into our group sessions in a variety of different ways in order to meet the group conscious and begin to encourage participation in the fellowship in the early stages of Outpatient Programming.