The 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous began in the 1930s. Over time, it gained popularity and gave way to other fellowships. Now, you see programs like Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous. These type of programs frequently help individuals with addictions achieve successful recovery. There are many misconceptions about what these programs are, but the reality is they can help anyone.

Misconceptions of a 12 Step Program

three women in 12 step program group therapySome 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 – Everything that people in 12-step programs recommend are merely suggestions that other people base on their own experiences.
  • 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, and some people aren’t able to follow the outline alone. Some people only go to meetings, but they never work the program, which is a common source of relapse. The relief and recovery of the program comes from thoroughly working the steps to prevent relapse.

What Happens in a 12 Step Program Meeting?

The founders of AA made an amazing discovery, which was that one person with an alcohol addiction talking to another gets incredible results. 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 don’t understand your alcohol or drug use. When talking to someone else who has an addiction, you immediately feel comfortable speaking with him or her.

In 12-step meetings, people share their experiences, strength and hope to carry 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.

Below are some of the varieties:

  • 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

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. Don’t wait one more day. Give us a call today at 866.314.3222.