Created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12 step program is arguably one of the oldest and well-known treatment programs today. Established as guidelines that were determined to be successful enough in their infancy so that other support groups dedicated to those with substance use disorder adopted them.
The Basics Of The 12 Step Program
Many people know about the 12 steps of this type of support program. However, fewer people are aware that there are also 12 guidelines that form the basis of recovery. While there are 12 steps in the 12 step program, the first three steps are considered to be the most important. They form the foundation of your recovery. For the greatest chance of success, it’s recommended that you practice the following three steps every day:
- Admit that you are powerless over alcohol, drugs, or both and that your life can no longer be managed
- Come to believe in a power that is greater than yourself
- Decide to turn your life and will over to this greater power
Is It Religious Based?
Some people see the word “God” being used in the 12 step program and think it cannot apply to them. Perhaps they don’t believe in the Christian version of God or maybe they follow a different religion altogether. A 12 step program urges you to turn your life over to a power that is greater than yourself. The point of doing so is to have a spiritually supportive tool to use when you are facing the inevitable challenges that are part of every person’s recovery.
The 12 Step Program Focuses On The Individual
The steps of a 12 step program focus on guiding the individual as you move through your recovery. The program includes taking an honest inventory of yourself, admitting to your mistakes, and acknowledge those who you’ve wronged. When you complete this acknowledgment, the program also encourages you to make amends to those who have been wronged by you.
This is often an understandably difficult step for many people to take. It’s hard to admit your shortcomings and acknowledge that you hurt those family members and friends that love you. However, it’s a crucial part of regaining their trust and letting them know that you are aware that substance use disorder doesn’t just affect you. It affects those people around you as well.
How Does It Work?
A key element of any 12 step program is anonymity. This fosters an environment of acceptance, support, and encouragement as you work to recover from substance use disorder. A “sponsor” becomes your mentor and helps you through challenging times. In turn, you could become a sponsor for someone in the future. This mutually beneficial relationship provides accountability during your recovery.
A 12 Step Program As Part Of Treatment
Using a 12 step program offers many benefits. However, success is most often found when it is used in combination with other treatment options as well. Some examples of complementary treatment services include the following:
- Sober living programs
- Co-occurring rehab program
- Drug and alcohol detox
- Alcohol addiction rehab
- Transitional living program
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
Whether it’s recommended that you get substance use disorder treatment on an inpatient or outpatient basis, using a 12 step program as part of your aftercare is a common way to transition to less structured options.
Oceanfront Recovery offers a small and intimate setting in beautiful Orange County in Laguna Beach where you’ll be able to recover from substance use disorder. Learn more about how our serene setting, caring staff, and commitment to your recovery by contacting us today at 877.279.1777.