12 Step AA Programs: 12 Steps to Recovery for Addiction

This higher power doesn’t need to be a traditional Christian version of God – it can be as simple as the community of the 12-step meetings, the universe, or a different version of a higher power fit for your type of spirituality. The role of spirituality in AA is widely cited, but empirical studies attempting to identify mediators of the effects of AA have not been able to document that having a spiritual awakening or other RS constructs explain the positive effects of AA. Rather, evidence supports a variety of constructs such as enhanced self-efficacy, increased motivation for abstinence, and finding a nondrinking peer group, as being the active ingredients by which AA helps some members. It is possible that the lack of evidence for RS mediators is due to existing studies doing a poor job of operationalizing and measuring RS in AA, so future work with more sophisticated measures would be helpful.

12 step program

You can start by visiting the official AA website, which includes local listings. You can also contact local community centers, churches, or healthcare facilities for more information on AA and other 12-Step meetings near you. The original 12 Steps https://trading-market.org/dedicated-to-life-long-recovery/ of AA encourage a spiritual path to recovery that is not necessarily affiliated with a particular religion. Terms such as “God” or “Higher Power” may be used in the recovery process, while leaving each individual to define what those terms mean.

Step 12

For me, steps 1-3 are about developing a relationship with a power greater than myself, steps 4-7 are about healing the relationship with myself, and steps 8-12 are about healing and supporting my relationships with others. My sponsor’s main role is to guide and support me through working the steps. (Anonymous 12-step group member, personal communication, November 23, 2020). Another well-known 29 Best Group Therapy Activities for Supporting Adults is Codependents Anonymous program. “Codependents Anonymous (CoDA) is a 12 Step Fellowship for people seeking loving and healthy relationships” [22]. The concept of co-dependency has come under fire by feminist scholars.

In other words, a link exists between the degree of involvement in the program and positive outcomes. The bonding among group members is another factor that underlies the program’s effectiveness. Bonding leads to the provision of role models for attaining abstinence and fosters goal directedness. People typically use the programs as an add-on to treatment or as a form of continuing support following treatment. The purpose of the 12 traditions is to help provide guidelines about the relationships between the group and the community as well as between individual members of the group.

Individuals with Dual Diagnoses

The most well-known and widely available mutual help group is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), founded by individuals who had been affiliated with the Oxford Group, an early twentieth century Evangelical Protest Christian movement. The founders of AA attempted to remove some of the more overtly religious elements of the Oxford Group, but aspects of that movement remain in AA practices such as the personal moral inventory, having a spiritual awakening, and spreading the movement to others. Twelve-step programs have also been developed for other substances (e.g. Narcotics Anonymous, etc.) and for behavioral addictions such as sex, gambling, and overeating. The dropout rate in AA is high, but exact rates are difficult to determine due in part to the organizations’ emphasis on anonymity of members. Among individuals in treatment, degree of involvement in AA is a good predictor of positive outcome, but court mandated AA does not appear to be effective.

The chapter concludes with recommendations for the integration of the approach into clinical practice. There are a number of recently developed measures that can assist the practitioner in determining where the individual is in his or her readiness to engage in 12-Step groups (Cloud & Kingree, 2008). Nearly half of people with an SUD also have a co-morbid psychiatric condition [70]. According to SAMHSA, people with SUDs are twice as likely than the general population to experience mood and anxiety disorders, and anti-social and conduct disorders [71]. Further, about 50% of those diagnosed with schizophrenia will develop an SUD over their lifetime. So, how do those with co-occurring disorders fare in 12-step programs?

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to

Constant triggering of the addiction disease has caused life to be “unmanageable.”  Like any incurable recurring disease, addiction steals total control of one’s wellness. This step is structured around the belief that one is “powerless” over one’s chronic disease. Today, the original 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous has helped countless men and women make sobriety sustainable across the globe. We are people who have discovered and admitted that we cannot control alcohol. We have learned that we must live without it to live normal, happy lives. We’ll be able to tell you if your insurance provider is in network with an American Addiction Centers treatment facility.

12 step program

In addition, a number of non-religious 12-Step groups have modified the steps to fit a secular model that can help those who are agnostic or atheist practice the program without feeling forced to adhere to a religion they don’t believe in. Emergency room physicians follow established protocols to treat individuals who have ingested a methamphetamine overdose. Because hyperthermia and convulsions are common and often fatal complications of such overdoses, emergency room treatment focuses on the immediate physical symptoms. Overdose patients are cooled off in ice baths, and anticonvulsant drugs may also be administered. In recent decades, mindfulness and the ancient spiritual teachings of the East have increasingly been embraced by Western psychotherapists. There is exciting evidence that teaching mindful awareness to people can markedly improve their physical and mental well-being (Siegel, 2006).

Some have found the language of the 12-steps reflects a tearing down rather than a building up process that emphasizes moral inventory and examination of one’s character flaws. These steps recommend critical self-examination, admission to the exact nature of wrongs to God and another person, followed by a willingness to let go of, and have God remove, such character defects and shortcomings. The value of meeting attendance is best described by an anonymous member of AA and NA. Overeaters Anonymous formed to address a variety of compulsive eating behaviors. It is “a community of people who support each other in order to recover from compulsive eating and food behaviors.

For example, Anderson [23] argued that the concept pathologizes and blames women. Yet, Melody Beattie’s 1986 bestseller, Co-dependent No More, has sold more than 5 million copies [24]. Our goal is to help you overcome your addiction and develop the tools you need for a sustainable recovery. Give us a call to learn more about our addiction treatment programs for men.

What are The 12-Steps of AA?

People interested in partaking should speak with a relevant organization or healthcare professional about ways in which to treat and manage their substance and alcohol use disorders. Although studies indicate that the programs are effective for people with alcohol use disorder, the research on their effectiveness for those with substance misuse is still preliminary. While participating in the 12 steps of recovery can be beneficial for many people, consider the advantages and disadvantages of these programs before you decide if this approach is right for you. For many people, these groups may serve as their primary resource for changing their behavior, but they also often augment formal treatment. Twelve-Step meetings are considered the “fellowship” part of the AA mutual support groups, where people come together and share their experiences.

  • It has been generally recognized that it is very difficult for chemically dependent individuals to control their addictions without help.
  • Learning usually requires mistakes, so recovery will never be a straight path.
  • There now is a greater mutual appreciation of the benefit of such programs and medical therapy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *