Looking for Something Other Than a 12 Step Program?

12 Step Program 

If one is an addict, chances are one has heard of a 12 step program as a means to recovery.  12 step programs have been around since 1939 and have been made popular by various drug treatment centers, but they’re not for everyone.  That’s why it’s important to consider a non 12 step program when looking for drug treatment. 

Are You or Someone You Love an Addict?

Sometimes it’s not easy to admit that there’s a real problem when it comes to alcohol or drugs.  Alcohol and drugs are so prevalent in today’s society that it’s easy to get hooked on illicit drugs, prescription drugs, and alcohol.  People hear about celebrities getting addicted and checking into rehab, only to return to using again — sometimes with devastating results.

Whether an addict, or a family member or friend of an addict, addiction tears apart individuals and relationships. But it doesn’t have to be that way.  There is a way to kick the habit and get help.  That’s why there are do many drug treatment centers out there.  But should one go to a 12 step program or should one try a non 12 step program?  The answer might be surprising.

What 12 Step Programs Do

12 step programs are geared around the idea that the person is addicted and will always be addicted. They look at addiction not as a disease in most cases, but rather as a moral failing on the part of the addict to control the disease. Furthermore, the addict is powerless without the help of a higher power and the community to get themselves clean. For some people, this is a very powerful message and works for them, but there is still the potential for relapse, especially if the drug treatment does not address the core issues surrounding why the person is addicted. This is why non 12 step programs have become increasingly popular, because they address the issues concerning why the addict became an addict and help them overcome the issues that prevent them from sobriety.

What Non 12 Step Programs Do

Non 12 step drug treatment centers look at the person as an individual who has a specific problem with drugs or alcohol.  Non 12 step programs treat the drug or alcohol addiction like a disease rather than a moral or character failing on the part of the addict. Furthermore, because not everyone becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol when they take them, the non 12 step drug addiction treatment looks to find the root cause of the addiction, whether it’s a mental disorder, depression, low self esteem, or life circumstances. It then works on curing the issues that caused the person to make the choice to seek drugs and alcohol in the first place. This may include giving the addict coping mechanisms that allows them to deal with difficulties and stresses of their lives without resorting to using drugs or alcohol. The addicts learn that they’re capable of self control once they understand why they reached for drugs and alcohol as a way for dealing with their problems. 

How Non 12 Step Programs Work

The first step in the non 12 step program is to detoxify the body of all the poisons the addict has been putting into themselves.  Detox is normally looked on with dread because without the proper treatment, it can be quite painful.  Going “cold turkey” is never a good thing as withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst. That’s why it’s important to go through a detox which works at minimizing the withdrawal symptoms and makes it as painless as possible. The addict starts working at understanding their addiction.  That may mean looking at their past and examining how things could be handled differently. 

It may mean considering that the addict may have a mental disorder such as bipolar disorder, depression or another disorder and treating it with the latest medical advances.  Non 12 step programs give tools that the addict may use to combat the stresses of their lives so that they don’t return to the same addictive behavior.  That way, when faced with difficulties, the addict knows they have a choice and understands that things can only get better helping themselves rather than spiraling downward into addiction again. 
 

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