Early recovery can be a confusing time. We want to get involved in a long-term recovery program but are unsure about the pros and cons of each program. There are 12-step programs, religious programs, secular programs, and different programs focused on overcoming different addictions. One of the great things about early sobriety is that we have the opportunity to explore a variety of different recovery programs to find one that we feel is most effective and most comfortable for us. 12-step recovery is the most highly suggested recovery program by clinicians based on the evidence of its effectiveness and ubiquity. With over two million members and about 115,000 groups worldwide, it is by far the most convenient, especially for those living in rural areas that may not have a wide variety of programs. Scott O. Lilienfeld, in a 2011 Scientific American article entitled Does Alcoholics Anonymous Work, explains, “In 2006 psychologist Rudolf H. Moos of the Department of Veterans Affairs and Stanford University and Bernice S. Moos published results from a 16-year study of problem drinkers who had tried to quit on their own or who had sought help from AA, professional therapists or, in some cases, both. Of those who attended at least 27 weeks of AA meetings during the first year, 67 percent were abstinent at the 16-year follow-up, compared with 34 percent of those who did not participate in AA.” 12-step recovery, however, is not limited solely to Alcoholics Anonymous. There are a variety of other 12-step groups, including Cocaine Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous, and Marijuana Anonymous, just to name a few. Non-12-step recovery programs may be effective but have not received the same amount of research as 12-step programs. 12-step recovery is a spiritually-based program that is not religious and tends to bridge the gap between religious and entirely secular recovery programs. On one end of the non-12-step spectrum, there is SMART recovery, which describes itself as “an abstinence-based, not-for-profit organization with a sensible self-help program for people having problems with drinking and using. It includes many ideas and techniques to help you change your life from one that is self-destructive and unhappy to one that is constructive and satisfying.” On the other end of the spectrum, there are a wide variety of faith-based recovery programs that cater to nearly any religious belief. One such program, Refuge Recovery, which describes itself as “a Buddhist-oriented path to freedom from addiction. This is an approach to recovery that understands: ‘All individuals have the power and potential to free themselves from the suffering that is caused by addiction.’ We feel confident in the power of the Dharma, if applied, to relieve suffering of all kinds, including the suffering of addiction.” This is by no means a comprehensive list of all possible recovery program options. With so many different options and variations, we are bound to find a recovery program that speaks to us and caters to our individual needs. Exploring the different programs and finding an effective and comfortable place for ourselves is one of the fun aspects of early sobriety.
Your story doesn’t have to be one of suffering and confusion in addiction. You can make the decision to seek help now and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, a men’s treatment center in the heart of beautiful Laguna Beach, was founded with the goal of providing the best care and service possible, at an affordable price, and in a location where men would want to get well. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777