12-Step recovery programs focus on taking a newcomer through a series of steps so they can experience a spiritual awakening and develop a relationship with a higher power of their own understanding as a means of achieving and maintaining sobriety. The 12-Step recovery program began with Alcoholics Anonymous but has proven to be so effective that it has extended into other problem areas. Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous, and Crystal Meth Anonymous, just to name a few, are all programs that use the 12 Steps as a program of recovery. The 12 Steps are designed to induce a spiritual experience, or entire psychic change, that causes someone suffering from the disease of addiction to find a power greater than themselves whom they can rely on as a way of maintaining sobriety.
What is 12-Step Recovery?
A 12-step program is an evidence-based form of addiction treatment that focuses on personal responsibility and active involvement in the recovery process. When incorporated into a comprehensive addiction treatment program, it can provide individuals with essential tools for managing their disease and engaging in ongoing sobriety.
The 12 steps involve admitting powerlessness over one’s addiction, recognizing the need for a higher power to help with recovery, taking a moral inventory, making amends to those harmed by one’s behavior, and helping others who are suffering from addiction. Participants of 12-step programs also attend meetings regularly, which provide support and guidance as they progress in their recovery journey.
Addiction: A Disease of the Mind, Body, and Soul
The reason 12-Step recovery works where medical communities have failed is that 12-Step recovery programs address the spiritual aspect of the disease where others do not. The concept of the “spiritual awakening” comes from a conversation between famed psychiatrist Carl Jung and Rowland Hazard, a man who had been trying desperately to maintain sobriety.
As noted in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, Jung explained that Hazard had “the mind of a chronic alcoholic,” and had no chance of recovery, with one exception: “Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. These occurrences seem to be a phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them.”
Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, cofounders of Alcoholics Anonymous, developed the 12 steps as a means of inspiring change in the “ideas, emotions, and attitudes” by addressing the causal factors of alcoholism and addiction. The problem of addiction and alcoholism is deeper than simply substance abuse and requires one to go through a process of thorough self-examination and action in order to achieve and maintain sobriety. It works—it really does.
Get the Help You Need From Oceanfront Recovery
Ultimately, the goal of a 12-step program is to help an individual learn how to take responsibility for their own sobriety and accept that addiction is a chronic condition that requires ongoing treatment. With the right support system and comprehensive addiction treatment, individuals in recovery can begin to build a better life without the use of substances.
Your story can be one of recovery and healing of the mind, body, and spirit. You can begin the journey to freedom from addiction and alcoholism by reaching out for help today. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers inside and outside 12-Step meetings in the residential program. It can help you develop all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain permanent sobriety. For more information about treatment options, including detox and residential treatment, please call today at 877.296.7477.