How Does The 12 Step Program Work?

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In the past few years, there has been controversy about the 12-Step programs effectiveness and the programs ability to help people recover and overcome an addiction.

Some people argue that the 12-Step model doesn’t really work and people should seek other forms of treatment. However, there are studies that argue different ways that the 12-Step programs have helped people recover and overcome addiction and have provided continuity during aftercare once a person has returned to normal life after treatment.

The 12-Step model has many benefits that should not be disregarded. Research continues to demonstrate that these programs are helpful because they are part of a more well-rounded treatment program. This treatment program consists of detox, various therapy options, and aftercare. Also, they provide a customizable treatment and therapies for a person’s specific needs.  It is important to learn how the 12 Step Program works and that is what will be discussed next.

How Does The 12 Step Programs Work?

The general idea of the 12 Step Program is to give people, who are struggling with an addiction, a process where they are able to better understand and manage their addiction. Also, the 12 Step Program will allow them to find support with others who are going through the same struggles.

Through group meetings, a person is guided through the 12 Steps that were developed by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), or similar steps. The 12 Steps are described in the following:

  • Admit powerlessness and helplessness over one’s addiction.
  • Find hope through a higher power/higher goal.
  • Turn the power to manage life over to a higher power/goal.
  • Analyze oneself and behaviors.
  • Share the results of the analysis with other people in your meetings or with the higher power.
  • Prepare oneself to allow the higher power to remove the negative aspects discovered in the self-analysis.
  • Ask the higher power for these negative aspects of your life to be removed.
  • Make a list of wrongdoings done to others.
  • Make amends for past wrongdoings to others.
  • Make self-analysis, removal of faults, and forgiveness regular and often practices.
  • Meditate or pray for continued ability to overcome an addiction.
  • Help others to go through the same process.

All of the 12 steps are not about stopping using an addictive substance. Only the first step in the 12 Step Program is about not using an addictive substance. The other remaining eleven steps are about how to create a new life without using these addicting substances and how to live happier in life.

The principles of the 12 steps are principles of everyday life. If you work the 12 steps throughout your life, they will help you identify the traits that make you unhappy, let go of those negative traits, and learn something better to take their place. The 12 steps are a model for self-change.

Why The 12 Steps Program Works

According to the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, cognitive restructuring – the ability to change one’s thought patterns can change behavior – is an important aspect of substance abuse treatment. The study’s results show that 12-Step programs make it possible for people to change their behavioral patterns concerning their substance abuse with cognitive restructuring.

As you can see, the 12 Step Program can help someone overcome an addiction. It is more than going to a group meeting every week. There are other elements that are taken into consideration in helping someone with their addiction such as therapy, detox, and aftercare.

If you or anyone you know needs help, please feel free to call our hotline at (877) 430-0086.

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