If you are considering an alcohol addiction recovery program for you or a loved one, chances are you have already heard of of the 12-step process. First popularized through Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930s, the 12-step approach has become arguably the most common type of treatment program for individuals facing alcohol addiction. With A.A. indicating that over two million people use the program to stay sober, there is reason to consider this type of program if you want to find relief from alcohol abuse.
How 12-step programs work
While not all 12-step programs follow the A.A. model exactly, most follow similar protocols to accomplish the goal of ongoing sobriety for participants. The underlying framework remains the same – one that has helped thousands of alcoholics find some relief from their addiction. It may be extremely difficult to get sober and remain that way throughout a lifetime but the 12-step process has demonstrated that it can help accomplish this goal.
The first thing that these programs stress is that addiction is an ongoing struggle, a huge problem to tackle and one that is not solved in a day — if ever. When tackling large problems it is necessary to break them down into smaller parts. The 12 steps divide up the beginning process of addiction recovery so that you have small, defined goals to tackle. Each one you accomplish gives you further encouragement to keep going and brings you close to a maintenance level.
Some of the most notable features of 12-step programs are the inclusion of a spiritual component, the necessity for ongoing socialization with other members and a commitment to help other people work through their addictions. It is these components that many successful members insist are the backbone of the program’s effectiveness. Without them the program just wouldn’t work.
The original A.A. was heavily based in Christian ideals and most 12-step programs still include a spiritual element. This does not necessarily have to be based in Christianity but it does need to be something greater than the individual addict. Whether it is an understanding that a higher power is there looking out for the participant or simply an understanding that one’s actions should benefit humanity as a whole, a commitment to something greater than oneself is considered necessary to recovery.
While the 12-steps teach the participant how to lead a better life, one that avoids much of what leads to addiction in the fist place, the work does not end at step 12. Participants agree to assist others who are starting out in the program through sponsorship. Helping other alcoholics combat their own addictions makes a participant’s sobriety easier to maintain. Combined with ongoing attendance at meetings to discuss the everyday challenges of sobriety, this comprehensive socialization is part of what makes 12-step programs so effective.
Alcoholism is a disease that is often difficult to treat effectively. It is not something that is ever “cured”. Many people find 12-step programs to be extremely beneficial in their ongoing battle to stay sober. They provide a framework to get and stay sober and a community that can help you over a lifetime. The key to remember is that alcoholism requires maintenance treatment to be addressed month after month, year after year.
Some insurance providers will cover 12-step programs while others will not. The cost of your program will depend on many factors, including the length of treatment and the type of treatment you choose.
If you or someone you love is suffering from alcoholism, please contact AlcoholTreatment.Net today to discuss the treatment options available to you. Whatever option you choose, the best time to ask for help is now.