What Are the Rehab 12 Steps?

Learn about the rehab steps and how they can help achieve recovery from addiction in this comprehensive article.

Rehab 12 Steps

Article Contents

What Is a Rehab 12-Step Program?

The 12-Step program is one of many methods to help treat individuals struggling with substance use disorders. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the original 12-Step program to help treat alcohol use disorder. With its success, other types of rehab treatments have adopted the format and procedures of the program.

What Is the 12-Step Addiction Recovery Process?

While there are many different 12-Step programs that target various addictions, the steps primarily stay the same. The general steps for recovering from addiction include the following:
  1. Admitting powerlessness
  2. Faith
  3. Surrender
  4. Soul searching
  5. Integrity
  6. Acceptance
  7. Humility
  8. Willingness
  9. Forgiveness
  10. Maintenance
  11. Making contact
  12. Helping others

12-Step Program Statistics

The rehab 12 steps have been around for nearly eight decades. As a result, there has been a growing number of meetings and groups worldwide. According to data from AA groups within the U.S. and Canada, there are nearly two million members.1 Further, there are approximately 76,000 weekly NA meetings across 143 countries.2

According to member surveys, the abstinence rate varies by substance. The following includes data by program and length of abstinence:3

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): 31% stayed abstinent for less than one year, 34% stayed abstinent between one and five years, and 45% stayed abstinent for more than five years. 
  • Narcotics Anonymous: (NA) 12% stayed abstinent for less than one year, 33% stayed abstinent between one and five years, and 55% stayed abstinent for more than five years. 
  • Cocaine Anonymous (CA): 55% stayed abstinent for less than one year, 31% stayed abstinent between one and five years, and 14% stayed abstinent for more than five years.

What Is the Success Rate of the 12-Step Program?

It can be difficult to gauge the success rate of the rehab 12 steps. The challenge is pinpointing a single, definitive answer for what success looks like, as well as gathering information on anonymous members. Thus, these rates may not be completely accurate. 

Rather than viewing success as a number, for the rehab 12 steps, it’s best to look at its success through qualitative factors. Although a program like this may not lead to complete recovery for all members, it is still beneficial. This is because there are many learning experiences and benefits to attending these meetings. 

Importance of Social Support

One significant factor of the program’s success is its social support. One study found that patients who received 12-Step facilitation were abstinent 17% more often than those who received motivational enhancement therapy. Researchers concluded that this increase is due to the support network provided by the 12-Step program.4

How Long Does a 12-Step Program Take?

Addiction is a unique disorder that varies from person to person. There is no single cause or manifestation of addiction, so there is no single format and timeline for treatment. Thus, each step’s length and success differ for each participant. Nonetheless, the average time the rehab 12 steps takes is three to four months.

Where Do 12 Steps Come From?

Today, you can find several different forms of the rehab 12 steps. Some of the most well-known include Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Yet, these are only two of many.

  At first, the only 12-Step program was Alcoholics Anonymous. AA was founded in 1935 in Akron, Ohio, by two men struggling with alcohol use disorder. 

Who Created the 12-Step Program?

The original rehab 12 steps program, Alcoholics Anonymous, was created by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, both of whom struggled with alcoholism. They decided to develop a support group for others who also struggle with alcohol addiction. The main belief held by these two was that alcoholism, as well as other forms of addiction, had to do with both the mind and body. This led to the incorporation of spiritualism. 

12-Step Program Evolution

After Wilson met Dr. Smith, they began working together. They held the first AA meetings at Akron’s City Hospital, though the term Alcoholics Anonymous had yet to be coined. This form of addiction therapy gained popularity after one patient benefited from the sessions and began to recover successfully from addiction. 

12-Step Program Effectiveness

Today, the rehab 12 steps program is regarded as one of the most effective forms of treatment for substance use disorders. Much of this comes as a result of the program’s accessibility and social interaction. These programs are an active form of treatment that encourages individuals to interact with others and build their support system while better navigating their own situation. 

12-Step Program Pros and Cons

Like every form of addiction treatment, the rehab 12 steps program has pros and cons. Although it can be a highly effective treatment for some people, especially those who use it in combination with other forms of treatment, it may not work for everyone. 

Why Do 12-Step Programs Work?

12-Step programs work because of their focus on social interaction. Individuals with substance use disorders have a higher chance of experiencing both emotional and social loneliness. This can lead to other co-occurring disorders, such as depression and anxiety.5

The rehab 12 steps help encourage individuals to interact with others in similar situations and motivate each other. This allows for groups to grow together and share stories and coping mechanisms, all while combating the isolation that addiction can cause. 

Why Do the 12-Step Programs Not Work?

One of the main reasons the rehab 12 steps may not work for each individual is due to their format. Many rehab 12 steps programs utilize spirituality in their practices and teachings, which is not for everyone.

Alternatives to 12-Step Programs

Although the rehab 12 steps can be highly beneficial, some people may benefit better from a different form of treatment. Two of the alternatives to this program are residential and outpatient treatment. 

  • Residential treatment involves living at a rehabilitation facility. Patients can stay either for a few days to over a year. Here, individuals can focus on recovery in a safe environment free of triggers and distractions.
  • Outpatient treatment is similar, except it does not involve a prolonged stay. Individuals may continue their daily life while scheduling appointments that fit their routines best. This program is often more accessible than residential treatment. 

Both residential and outpatient treatments offer access to various programs and therapies focused on helping treat substance use disorders. Examples include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), holistic therapies (e.g., yoga, meditation, mindfulness), medication-assisted treatment, and group therapy.

Rehab 12 Steps

12-Step Program at Iris Healing

At Iris Healing, you can attend a professional rehab 12 steps program with the help and guidance of our compassionate, certified staff. Our holistic approach, led by doctorate-level clinicians, can help restore balance to your life. 

12-Step Program for Addiction

Peer support groups can be highly effective in helping treat addiction. At Iris Healing, you’ll have access to a variety of support groups, including AA and NA.

Other Rehab Programs

Often, the rehab 12 steps are most effective when combined with other forms of treatment. For addiction, this can include psychotherapy and medication. Our medical staff will develop a treatment plan specially curated for your unique needs. This allows you to experience different treatment methods and modalities to ensure a full and well-balanced recovery. 

Why Choose Us

Iris Healing is a patient-focused addiction treatment center. We offer a holistic format and several rehab programs to provide comprehensive treatment for substance use disorders and other mental health disorders. Here, you’ll be able to focus on the root of your recovery: cultivating healthier thinking for healthier outcomes. 

Contact us today to learn more about our programs and how we can help you on the road to recovery.

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