Where Does 12-Step Fit Into Substance Abuse Treatment?
Where does 12-step fit into substance abuse treatment? The answer is everywhere! There are some treatment facilities that do not include 12-step programs in their recovery programs but the majority do.
Twelve-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Gamblers Anonymous (GA) are three groups that are quite popular in recovery. About 74% of treatment facilities provide 12-step meetings as part of their recovery programs. These groups meet at regularly scheduled times throughout any given week. If you are engaged in inpatient treatment, 12-step groups either meet outside of the facility or within the facility as part of their daily schedule. Once you leave a facility, you will be encouraged to attend as many meetings as possible to complement your recovery efforts.
The question remains though as to where 12-step meetings fit into substance abuse treatment and why are they part of a treatment program? The model of 12-step recovery is based on the guiding principles of Alcoholics Anonymous, where anyone can achieve and maintain abstinence by working the 12-steps.
There are added benefits to attending these meetings. First, the meetings are free and many are offered many times throughout the week. There is usually a meeting available when you need it. The most important part of the meetings is the social support that they provide. Once you are discharged from treatment, you need to continue with finding a support network of non-abusing people. After a certain amount of time, you can engage with a sponsor, who is a person who can help you through bad days and good days.
Twelve step groups are also encouraged due to their spiritual element. Many in recovery have lost their spirituality and may need help finding it again. If you are agnostic or atheist, there are some 12-step groups that focus more on the method of 12-step eliminating the concept of a higher power.
Inside and outside of the treatment facility, 12-step groups are a great source of support. You will have the opportunity to share your stories with others who have been where you are. No one passes judgment and you can meet people who share a similar goal. There is a lot of strength and hope that can be found in 12-step groups, therefore, whether you are inpatient or outpatient, you can benefit from their service.