While 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are common choices when attempting to overcome an addiction, some people find the spiritual aspect of traditional 12-step programs off-putting. Others may have attempted 12-step programs and realized the steps did not work for them. This is where alternatives to 12-step programs may make a big difference.
Non twelve-step treatment programs focus on scientific approaches to deal with the mental, physical, and emotional aspects of recovery.
Reasons for a Non 12-Step Program
Alternatives to a traditional 12-Step program base care on different principles. Depending on the organization or program, the principles may change, but they generally include:
Motivation: You must find the motivation yourself to change where your life is headed. Without personal motivation, you may not be willing to take the necessary steps to alter the course of your life. Consider what drugs or alcohol have done to you and others. What have you lost along the way? You may ask these questions and others to find your motivation.
Personal responsibility: You have allowed drugs and alcohol to control you long enough. It is time that you took back your life and assumed personal responsibility. Do not allow anyone or anything else to determine the direction of your life. You must be the one to set yourself on the course to recovery.
Balance: Balance is critical in recovery. You should find the perfect balance among wellness, overall health, and continuing your recovery. Finding this can be difficult at first, but you can find a balance that fits your life. Remember, you have to take personal responsibility to find the balance that fits you. No one else can do that for you.
Both 12-step and non 12-step programs have unique benefits. It is important to analyze them in-depth to determine which ones will work for you and your recovery.
Benefits of 12-step programs include:
- Availability: Since 12-step programs have been around for a long time and are used around the world, finding a 12-step program may be easy.
- Convenience: 12-step programs usually a recommended part of aftercare programs for people who are finishing addiction treatment. Treatment providers may help people enroll 12-step programs.
Disadvantages to 12-step programs:
- Debatable success rate: Some studies claim that 12-step programs have a low success rate. While these numbers are debatable, they show that the 12-step program may not be as effective as other types of sobriety assistance.
- Volunteer-based treatment: Volunteers, not medically or psychologically trained professionals, operate 12-step programs. This may create personable, cordial treatment, but it means you may not be receiving the evidence-based treatment you need.
- Less support for dual diagnosis: Addiction is often the result of an underlying mental illness. The presence of both conditions is called a dual diagnosis. This condition requires more in-depth treatment than many 12-step programs provide, which may make a relapse more likely.
Types of Non 12-Step Rehab Programs
As we mentioned before, 12 step programs such as AA or NA have been successfully used to help to treat people who abuse drugs or alcohol. But these are not the only programs available. There are several other non twelve-step treatment programs available. One of the most well-known nonreligious options is the non 12-step recovery program known as SMART Recovery.
SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) aims to help people break free from their addictions to substances and alcohol. The program strives to help people move away from self-defeating thoughts, attitudes, and actions to develop a healthy perspective. Its four-point program seeks to empower people and provides them with skills to rebuild their lives.
Some people put the two programs against each other: SMART Recovery vs AA. But, people respond differently to different programs, so one program is not necessarily better than the other. Another type of non 12-step addiction treatment is Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS). This program may help religious and nonreligious individuals recover from drug addiction by using a scientific approach to addiction.
This discussion illustrates that there is no shortage of nonreligious rehab programs. Mountain Springs Recovery may help you find the right one for you.