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What Are the 12 Steps for Addiction Recovery?

Read on to learn more about addiction recovery with 12-step programs and how they can help you.

12 Steps for Addiction Recovery

Article Contents

What Is a 12 Step Program?

Most people have heard of the 12 steps for addiction recovery. This set of steps, paired with regular meetings and peer support, creates a foundation for people recovering from substance abuse. The 12 steps can be a method of overcoming addiction, and the steps can also offer a new framework for people to learn to navigate life in a healthier way.1

The 12 steps for addiction recovery process does not have a set timeframe, and many people continue to attend 12 step meetings for many years during and after their initial detox and recovery. Addiction recovery 12 step programs are often attended alongside individual therapy and other addiction treatments, but 12 step programs can be completed on their own as well.

Are 12 Step Programs Spiritual?

Most of the 12 steps for addiction recovery are rooted in a spiritual basis, making them a good option for spiritual people or those who find encouragement in spirituality. However, you do not have to be spiritual or religious to utilize the benefits of 12 step programs.

Where Do 12 Steps for Addiction Recovery Come From?

Clonazepam can cause mild side effTo understand a little more about 12 step addiction recovery programs it’s important to know the origins of the program. The first 12-step program was Alcoholics Anonymous, founded in 1935 by a surgeon, Bob Smith, and an entrepreneur, Bill Wilson. Wilson helped Smith in alcohol recovery, and from there, the program was created.2

Though the 12 step program began as a treatment for alcohol use disorder, by the 1950s it had expanded to treat other substance use disorders as well. This expanded program, called Narcotics Anonymous, works much in the same way as Alcoholics Anonymous.

Scope of 12 Step Addiction Recovery Programs

Today, AA has around two million members around the world. Additionally, the 12 step model has been adopted to help with other issues, resulting in programs like Gamblers Anonymous and Eating Disorders Anonymous as well. The basis for 12 steps to recovery can be applied to multiple types of mental health or substance abuse disorders to help people going through recovery.

What Are the 12 Steps for Addiction Recovery?

The basis for the 12 step addiction program is as follows:3

  • Admitting Powerlessness: The process begins by being honest with oneself and admitting a lack of control due to a substance. 
  • Faith: The second step is believing in a higher power.
  • Surrender: This means putting your trust in that higher power’s ability to help you recover.
  • Soul Searching: You must look at your problems and how they have affected you and your loved ones.
  • Integrity: This step involves admitting your wrongs.
  • Acceptance: This involves accepting yourself and your problems in order to let them go.
  • Humility: This is about acknowledging that you may need help during your recovery
  • Willingness: This involves making a list of those who you may have harmed throughout your addiction.
  • Forgiveness: This is about making amends and healing your relationships. 
  • Maintenance: Maintenance involves a willingness to admit when you’re wrong and continually working to grow in recovery.
  • Making Contact: Here, you can utilize meditation to understand your purpose.
  • Helping Others: The last step is to spread your knowledge and help others.

Why Do 12 Step Programs Work?

Although the 12 steps for addiction recovery have been around for nearly a century, they are still some of the most effective treatment options for addiction recovery. In fact, studies show that 12 step  recovery programs are as effective as other addiction treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for treating alcohol use disorder.4

Additionally, research shows that people who utilize 12 steps for addiction recovery like NA and AA tend to have a length of abstinence that is longer than five years.5

Optimizing the 12 Steps of Success

People who go through the 12 steps for addiction recovery will see the most success if they commit to attending the meetings frequently, participate in multiple programs while they are also in therapy or other types of treatment, and are committed to and engaged in the program.

This could mean calling other members for support, fully participating in or leading meetings, or looking to continually improve oneself. The 12 steps for addiction recovery are successful for those who want to do the work, even though it’s not always easy.

What If 12 Step Programs Don’t Work For You?

Though the 12 steps for addiction recovery are effective for many people, it is not a one-size-fits-all approach to addiction recovery. If AA or NA isn’t working for you, there are other options, including rehabilitation and alternative programs.

When it comes to rehabilitation, there are two types of care: inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient rehabilitation involves intensive support where individuals live at a rehab facility as they receive treatment. Outpatient rehab, on the other hand, is similar to inpatient rehab in that you receive support as you recover. However, with outpatient treatment, you can still live at home and continue to work or go to school.

Personal Healing

What will work best for you is highly dependent on your individual circumstances. However, inpatient care is typically better for people with severe substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, or those who require a higher level of care. Outpatient treatment, on the other hand, is better suited to those with less severe substance use disorders.

In addition to rehabilitation, there are other programs that you can become involved in as you recover from addiction, such as moderation management or self-management and recovery training (SMART).

12 Step Programs at Iris Healing®

12 Steps for Addiction Recovery

If you or a loved one want to get started with the 12 steps for addiction recovery, Iris Healing® can help you on your journey. At Iris Healing®, you have the opportunity to heal in a tranquil and supportive environment that considers your holistic health, allowing you to recover on a mental, physical, and spiritual level.

Iris Healing® offers a variety of treatment modalities to suit your specific needs, including the 12 step addiction recovery process. In addition to peer support and 12 step programs, you can heal any trauma and move through your pain with effective therapeutic interventions. Reach out today to learn more about the 12 steps of addiction recovery.

Opportunities for Wellness at Iris Healing®

Some examples of Iris Healing®’s evidence-based and holistic treatments include:

The top value at Iris Healing® is empathy, and this means you will never feel alone as you recover from addiction. To find out more about the 12 step addiction recovery process with Iris Healing®, reach out to us today.

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