The most widely known 12-step program is Alcoholics Anonymous, a program that began in the 1930s to help those who were struggling with alcohol addiction. Over time, it gained popularity and gave way to other fellowships. Now, you can find a variety of 12-step programs, such as Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, and Overeaters Anonymous. These types of programs frequently help individuals with addictions achieve long-term recovery. There are many misconceptions about what these programs are, but the reality is they can help anyone. At Soledad House, our residents can participate in 12-step programs as part of our holistic approach to recovery.
Why We Use the 12 Steps
The principles of the 12 steps involve spirituality and community. Those who take part in 12-step programs join a community that can be found all around the world. Every individual who is part of this community acknowledges that recovery takes ongoing work and regular recommitment. You’ll find the same consistent support no matter what meeting you join.
Additionally, the 12 steps can help you develop the healthy coping skills and strategies you need after addiction treatment services to avoid relapse.
Misconceptions About 12-Step Programs
Some of the misconceptions and myths about 12-step programs include the following:
- You have to be religious – While these programs are spiritual, they’re not religious. The basic 12-step programs do not have an affiliation with any type of church.
- You have to speak at meetings – You won’t be required to speak up if you’re not comfortable. However, sharing your experiences can help you feel support as you work towards sobriety.
- There’s a strong chance that you’ll relapse – When AA first began, they had a 95% success rate of people staying sober. Those who embrace the program today still have as good of a chance.
You may be asking why some people don’t stay sober when they go to these programs. Addiction is a very powerful disease that causes changes in the brain, and relying on willpower is typically not enough for those in recovery to stay sober. Some people only go to meetings but do not complete the steps, which is a common source of relapse. Lasting changes come from thoroughly working the steps for relapse prevention.
What Happens in a 12-Step Program Meeting?
The founders of AA made an amazing discovery: one person in alcohol addiction treatment talking to another can help each other stay sober. This is also why addiction treatment centers provide people with group therapy sessions for peer support. It makes sense when you think about how many people in your life might not understand your alcohol or drug use. When talking to someone else who has an addiction, you immediately feel comfortable speaking with them.
In 12-step meetings, people share their experiences to spread the message that addiction recovery is possible. Different meetings have different formats, so you’ll always be able to find one that you like. A mistake that many people make who turn away from these programs is that they think all meetings are the same. There are an endless amount of meeting types.
Some of the different types of meetings you might participate in include:
- Topic meeting – The leader picks a topic and people to share on that specific topic.
- Speaker meeting – One person shares his or her story of addiction and recovery.
- Book study – People read the AA Big Book or NA Basic Text and discuss.
- Daily reading – The topic comes from the AA Daily Reflections or NA Just for Today book.
- Ask-it basket – People write recovery-related questions and other people answer.
Where to Start in Our Women’s Recovery Center
One of the best ways to get the most out of a 12-step program is to begin by going to a treatment center. Soledad House provides drug and alcohol treatment for women struggling with an addiction. Through our program, you’ll receive the individual care that you need to help you overcome your addiction. Many women who fall into a life of addiction have something in their past or present that fuels their addiction.
At our facility, you’ll begin to feel empowered with other women who are trying to recover from addiction as well. Not only will you go through group therapy, but you’ll also learn more about 12-step addiction programs and Soledad House’s Alumni Program to keep up with addiction support groups. Our facility is within walking distance of the beach, and we’ll teach you how to have fun again without drugs or alcohol. Don’t wait one more day. Give us a call today at 866.314.3222.