What is 12 Step Rehab?
The most prevalent type of addiction treatment center today is a 12 step rehab. It is important to understand that with any addiction treatment center, even a 12 step based program, a drug addict or alcoholic is not going to walk out of the treatment center with all of the recovery skills necessary to stay sober. We constantly hear about the alarming failure rate of addiction treatment centers. We see alcoholics and addicts go through multiple rehabs in their lifetime, sometimes without ever achieving continuous sobriety. The reason is that recovery skills cannot be perfected in a 28 day period, regardless of the quality of the treatment center or 12 step rehab. Treatment in a 12 step rehab is just a start. Most people find it necessary to follow 12 step treatment up with Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Don’t worry about that now, though, you’ve got a long way to go before those meetings start.
In addition, when preparing to enter a 12 step rehab there are a number of factors to consider that can increase the chances of achieving long-term sobriety:
- The length of Stay – The longer the stay for inpatient treatment the better. Most 12 step rehabs start at 28-30 days but can be extended on a month-to-month basis. However, this can be cost prohibitive. Make sure they learn the tools of addiction recovery in the center. Remember, anybody can stay sober while in rehab, the challenge is staying sober when they leave.
- Focus on the Solution – Remember, alcohol and drug abuse are symptoms of other underlying issues. If your focus is on just removing the drugs or alcohol from your (or your loved ones) system without a focus on addressing the underlying issues, you may be selling any treatment center short, including a 12 step focused rehab. Of course, detoxification is needed first, but that just helps you to stop drinking or using drugs. The 12 step rehab treatment program helps you to stay stopped.
- 12-Step is a life tool. It is effectively a self-help group and support group. The reason 12 step groups exist is because history and experience have shown that drug addicts and alcoholics have a hard time staying clean and sober on their own. In order to have success with the 12 step programs, it is almost always necessary to attend meetings, get a sponsor, and complete 12 step work. A 12 step rehab center should help the person leaving treatment to develop a plan for aftercare. This plan could include outpatient treatment, an additional stay in a recovery home or halfway house, and 90 meetings in 90 days.
Below are the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous.
These are the original Twelve Steps as defined by Alcoholics Anonymous:
- 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 of God 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. Other twelve-step groups have modified the twelve steps slightly from those of Alcoholics Anonymous to refer to problems other than alcoholism.
The Twelve Traditions
These are the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, they are similar in all twelve-step fellowships.
- Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on A.A. unity.
- For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.
- Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
- The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
- Each group has but one primary purpose-to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
- An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
- Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
- Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
- A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
- Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
- Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
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