Recovery from addiction is a process and requires several treatment approaches. The 12 Step Program is a journey of helping yourself sustain abstinence from the substance being used.
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Addiction can be a a slippery slope which may cause severe harm to those who spiral in it. Let’s understand that addiction doesn’t have to be a life-long struggle for them and that a cure is possible. Alcoholics anonymous pioneered the 12-step program for addiction recovery which has now reached about 74% of treatment facilities and organizations. This model has become highly prevalent among the mental health community and reached a large number of people combatting addiction.
This program works o the principle that those seeking recovery need to surrender their addiction to a higher power (could be spiritual or religious based on the individual’s beliefs) and start the process of the healing and gradually decrease the use of the chosen substance. These can be achieved by attending recovery meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Debtors Anonymous and likewise. People can share their experiences of addiction with each other and provide mutual support while following the 12-step program together.
The 12-step model includes the following:
- Admitting powerlessness over the addiction
- Believing that a higher power (in any form) can help
- Deciding to turn control to the higher power
- Taking a personal inventory
- Admitting to the higher power, oneself and another person the wrongs done
- Being ready to have the higher power correct any shortcomings in one’s character
- Asking the higher power to remove those shortcomings
- Making a list of wrongs done to others and being willing to make amends for them
- Contacting those who have been hurt, unless doing so will harm the person
- Continuing to take personal inventory and admitting when one is wrong
- Seeking enlightenment and connection with the higher power via prayer (if one’s belief allows) and meditation
- Carrying the message of 12-steps to others in need
This program offers support, encouragement and hope to those seeking recovery. This program can be used with other treatment methods like individual therapy, mindfulness, residential treatment programs, family therapy and so forth. It’s important to understand that one may not go sequentially through all steps and might go back and forth from them. This is okay as recovery is a process and takes time, patience and resilience. If meetings are not available in your area, you can also try to adopt these steps on your own with the support of a trusted friend, relative or mentor.
Remember, recovery is possible and you are capable of it. Have faith in yourself and your strength to overcome your powerlessness to the substance and reach out for support and help. You are not alone and there are people who want to be there to support you through this journey of healing.