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When 12-Step Programs Fail: Know Your Other Rehab Options

Perhaps the most well-known type of addiction recovery is the 12-Step program, which came about at a time when addiction was stigmatized so ardently and for so long that for decades there was no scientific research to guide addicts seeking treatment. Unfortunately, with AA’s 12-Step approach to addiction recovery comes the idea that “if the program doesn’t work for you, then you didn’t work the program.” However, there are other rehab options out there for people who don’t find success in AA, and who disagree with the idea that there is one right way to treat addiction. If you didn’t find success at a 12-step-based rehab facility, contact A Forever Recovery today at (877) 467-8321 to speak to an experienced addiction recovery counselor about alternative rehab options.

How Do 12-Step Programs Work?

Alcoholics Anonymous was created in 1935, and founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith subsequently devised the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, a set of guiding principles that rely on the spiritual and moral development of the individual to overcome compulsive behaviors, like alcoholism and drug addiction. More than 80 years later, AA remains a key element in substance abuse recovery, and similar support groups, like Narcotics Anonymous, have sprouted up all over the country. However, the 12-Step method’s requirement that the individual turns his life and will over to a “higher power” and admit powerlessness with respect to drugs or alcohol isn’t something that resonates with everyone across the board anymore.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to addiction recovery, and it’s silly to think there would be. Addiction is different for everyone, and while treatment facilities that apply the teachings of the 12-Step program have helped millions of Americans beat their addictions, relapse rates in the United States are growing, and the face of addiction has changed dramatically. The problem is, the traditional 12-Step program that is considered the standard approach to alcohol and drug addiction treatment isn’t truly individualized, as many other rehab programs are, like A Forever Recovery, where clients can choose from a variety of treatment tracks that suit their unique recovery needs, including faith-based, cognitive, self-help and holistic tracks.

Are 12-Step Programs Effective?

If you’re considering seeking treatment at a 12-Step facility, it’s important to ask the question “do 12-Step programs work?” That’s not to imply that 12-step-based treatment isn’t effective; it’s simply not for everyone. After checking in to a 12-step-based rehab, you typically detox and then attend group therapy, addiction-related education lectures, and AA meetings, before being released into the real world, where you’re expected to be able to resist temptations to use. There isn’t much or any focus on individual therapy like there is on non-12-step programs, even though experts agree that all addicts can benefit from personalized attention from an experienced substance abuse therapist. After all, there are dozens of factors that may contribute to an individual’s addiction – genetics, past trauma, self-medication, mental illness – and addressing these factors as underlying causes of addiction is the foundation of a successful recovery.

Call A Forever Recovery Today for Help

The success of 12-Step programs is a hotly-debated topic in this country. Some people believe that AA is the only way to get sober, and they will stick with that opinion till their dying day. However, research shows that the vast majority of people who achieve and maintain lasting recovery do so without AA. And not because the 12-Step method is fundamentally flawed or universally unsuccessful, but because it’s simply not the only way. For more information about rehab programs that don’t subscribe to the traditional 12-Step approach, call (877) 467-8321 today to speak to a certified substance abuse counselor at A Forever Recovery.

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