Recovering from a disease as powerful and consuming as addiction is something that takes a comprehensive, active approach. Individuals attempting to rebuild new, sober lives for themselves require an exceptional deal of support in doing so as starting over is never something that can be done overnight. Thankfully, there are a wide variety of options for individuals to lean into so that they can succeed in their addiction recovery. One of those options is a 12-Step program. Individuals in recovery can gain several benefits of 12-Step programs simply by attending regular meetings.
What are 12-Step Programs?
12-Step programs are rooted in a set of steps that are designed to help individuals with substance use disorders put a stop to their active addictions. 12-Step programs are so popular that they are available in just about any and all cities throughout the country. This allows anyone the opportunity to reach out for help when and as many times as necessary.
As mentioned before, the 12-Steps are put forth in an effort to help individuals stop abusing drugs and alcohol for good. Each individual who participates in these programs is encouraged to go through each of the 12-Steps in order to achieve enlightenment and connection with a higher power of their choosing. This higher power does not need to be a religious figure, but anything that the individual wants to believe in as being their higher power. As individuals work through each of the steps, they strengthen themselves in their recovery.
The 12-Steps are as follows:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol/drugs – that our lives had become unmanageable
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
- Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understood Him
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all of these defects of character
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out
- Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts/alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs
Who are 12-Step Programs For?
12-Step programs are designed for those who want to be in recovery from a substance use disorder. Typically, they are best suited for individuals who:
- Have gone through professional addiction treatment and want to incorporate additional resources of support into their recovery
- Are addicted to drugs or alcohol but who need and want community support to stop
- No longer drink or use drugs but are experiencing problems with the leftover behaviors tied to their active addiction
- Are in recovery themselves and want to obtain support from others while also reciprocating support
Anyone who has first-hand experience with addiction is welcome to attend 12-Step meetings. The overarching goal of these programs is to help people break the behavioral patterns that contribute to their substance abuse. Any individual who wants that for themselves is able to go to as many meetings as they would like.
Benefits of 12-Step Programs
When it comes to 12-Step programs, there are several benefits to be obtained. Individuals who participate can reap these and other benefits of 12-Step programs:
Sense of Community
12-Step programs bring people together in ways that other types of treatment cannot. Those who are attending meetings are doing so because they want to improve their lives in a meaningful manner. Everyone who is there can also relate to what one another shares with the group. The camaraderie that can be developed in this setting allows individuals to benefit from a strong sense of community, where they know they can be fully vulnerable and still accepted by people who have walked similar paths as they have.
Being accountable is one of the most difficult aspects of recovery, as it requires a great deal of mental and physical effort. When bonded with individuals in a 12-Step group, however, being accountable to oneself and the rest of the group can be easier. Not only do most people want to maintain their recovery in order to continue to engage with their favorite groups, but they also feel empowered to do so because of the support they receive through meetings.
Arguably one of the greatest benefits of 12-Step programs is that they are located everywhere. There is not one place in the country where individuals are unable to drive to a 12-Step meeting. This allows individuals to constantly feel like they are being supported no matter where they go or when. While many people like to find a home group meeting, being able to go to a meeting while traveling is hugely beneficial for one’s continued recovery.
Addiction Treatment in Santa Ana, CA
If you are struggling with a substance abuse problem and need help, reach out to us right now. Our team at Pacific Sands Recovery is devoted to providing you with the best care possible. With our help, you can begin living a happy, sober life once more.