When most people think about rehab, the first thing they think about is a 12-Step program. Though 12-Step programs are most commonly associated with alcoholism, they can also be used to treat drug addicts as well. Following all twelve steps of a 12-Step program not only helps people to recover from their addictions, but they also sow the seeds for a better, more wholesome life once they leave rehab and reduce rates of relapse.
The Benefits of a 12-Step Program
The 12 Steps of Recovery were created by Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, in 1938. Since their creation, they have only been modified slightly to reduce the number of references to God. That the Steps have maintained so much of their original form for so long is a testament to their simplicity and effectiveness. These principles can be used to treat virtually any sort of addiction, with a minimal amount of tailoring necessary to make the Steps applicable to that particular disorder.
The 12 Steps of Rehabilitation are as follows:
- Step 1: Admit powerlessness
- Step 2: Belief in a higher power
- Step 3: Turn will and life over to God
- Step 4: Moral inventory
- Step 5: Admit wrongdoings to God
- Step 6: Prepare to remove character flaws
- Step 7: Ask God for forgiveness
- Step 8: Prepare list of those who have been wronged
- Step 9: Make amends to these people
- Step 10: Personal inventory
- Step 11: Prayer
- Step 12: Use experiences to help others
Why the 12 Steps Work
The 12-Step method is beneficial to those who seek rehabilitation because it covers the spiritual journey one undertakes as they attempt to clean up their lives. It forces those going through the Steps to reach deep within themselves to find the truths that they have tried for so long to hide through substance abuse. Doing this unlocks the secrets of the soul and shows people what they must do in order to rebuild their lives.
Another major benefit of a 12-Step program is that it puts the focus on the client, which is exactly where it should be. The verbiage of the 12 steps does not discuss drugs, alcohol, or any other sort of disorder, and this is done by design. Drugs are just one part of the 12 steps and are a symptom of the larger problem that exists inside oneself. It is only through going through these 12 steps and finding true inner harmony that a person can permanently say goodbye to their previous coping mechanisms.
Going Through the 12 Steps
Although the 12 steps are very powerful, they must be followed carefully and correctly. Although it can be easy to assume these steps can be followed in solitude, they are best practiced with others in a rehabilitation center. Going through the Steps with others can help people at their weakest moments; it can also push them to dig deeper and discover the truths that they have purposefully ignored. Furthermore, when administered by a certified drug counselor, the 12-Step program has an even greater chance of success. Those who have seen others go through the process can give encouragement and feedback, enhancing the experience and giving clients more motivation to succeed.
We Can Help
Rehab centers such as Best Drug Rehabilitation focus their efforts around the 12 steps because they’ve worked for many others and it minimizes the chance of relapse. A 12-Step program can be combined with other alternatives, such as holistic healing, to create a fully customized program that truly immerses and excites clients. This environment gives clients the ultimate opportunity to become reborn and reclaim their lives.
Sources and Studies:
- Christine Timko, Anna DeBenedetti, A randomized controlled trial of intensive referral to 12-step self-help groups: One-year outcomes, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Volume 90, Issues 2–3, 8 October 2007, Pages 270-279, ISSN 0376-8716, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2007.04.007.
- Vetrans Affairs, Department of, Mental Health - Self-Help Research, (http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/providers/sud/selfhelp/research.asp)
- Outcome Research on 12-Step and Other Self-Help Programs