12 Step Programs: Are You in Danger of Relapsing After They End?
The Twelve Step Program just like your recovery is intended to be an ongoing process in your life. It is designed to first handle the dangerous situation that drug or substance abuse has caused in your life, then give you actions to do and a spiritual or moral framework to keep you on the road to a happy, drug-free life. The Twelve Step program is often very religious in nature and seeks to help an individual help them self through a religious breakthrough.
What is The Twelve Step Program?
The Twelve Steps as originally published by Alcoholics Anonymous are:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care ofGod as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Many other organizations have now adopted the Twelve Steps into their own programs and may adapt the steps or their wording to fit their own ideology or creed. As far as statistics of the success rate of the program, or of how many Twelve Stepper’s relapse after the program, it can be difficult to find hard data. This is due in part to the inherent Anonymous nature of the program. Alcoholics Anonymous claims a success rate of around 50 percent with another 25 percent of those who relapse returning to the program again.
There are a number of other studies and reports that find the success rate to be much lower. These studies claim the success rate to be only around 8 to 12 percent. This large discrepancy may be caused in part by the fact that the Twelve Step Program was created almost 80 years ago as a method of helping people overcome addiction to alcohol. It was not designed with addiction to powerful modern pharmaceuticals and street drugs in mind. This is not to say that the 12 Step Program can’t work, there are many people who have found recovery through the 12 Steps. It just is no longer the best option.
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