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Elizabeth Hartney, PhD

Thinking of a 12-Step Program?

By March 28, 2013

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Not sure whether you want to quit? Don't have the time or energy for a treatment program? It might be worth attending a 12-step program, even just for one session.

Don't let the portrayal of 12-step programs in movies, such as "Confessions of a Shopaholic," or "Trust the Man" put you off. There are many advantages of 12-step programs.

For a start, they are free, anonymous, and focused on the addictive behavior you are thinking of working on. They are attended by people in your own community who have been going through the process of becoming addicted, and then making changes for themselves. Some have been through formal treatment programs, others have done it on their own.

12-step programs can be a great way of finding out more about the process of recovery from an addiction. Even if you are not sure about whether you want to change, attending a 12-step program can give you a good idea of what to expect, from others who have been through it.

Although 12-step programs are not for everyone, and they may form only part of your process of recovery from an addiction, they are a resource that is worth checking out.

Comments
March 3, 2009 at 8:37 pm
(1) BuddyT says:

Millions of people attend support group meetings for all kinds of addictions and behavior. In the U.S. 5 million attend meetings each week for alcohol and drug-related problems alone.

Although there are many people who find recovery through support-group participation, there is a growing body of evidence that indicates that mutual support groups work best in connection with other treatment alternatives.

Likewise, people who are using other approaches to treatment – such as residential treatment, pharmaceutical treatment, counseling or therapy – will have better outcomes if they also include participation in a support group.

Although there are many secular support groups for those who have a problem with the 12-step spiritual approach to recovery, 12 step programs are more popular and therefore available in more locations. They have been around for more than 75 years for a reason.

BuddyT
http://alcoholism.about.com

March 6, 2009 at 2:48 am
(2) BuddyT says:

In the U.S., millions of people attend support group meetings for all kinds of addictions and behavior. Each week 5 million attend meetings for alcohol and drug-related problems alone.

Although there are many people who find recovery through support-group participation, there is a growing body of evidence that indicates that mutual support groups work best in connection with other treatment alternatives.

Likewise, people who are using other approaches to treatment – such as residential treatment, pharmaceutical treatment, counseling or therapy – will have better outcomes if they also include participation in a support group.

Although there are many secular support groups for those who have a problem with the 12-step spiritual approach to recovery, 12 step programs are more popular and therefore available in more locations. They have been around for more than 75 years for a reason.

BuddyT
http://alcoholism.about.com

March 18, 2009 at 3:45 am
(3) Darren Littlejohn says:

I agree completely! My book, the 12-Step Buddhist, offers alternatives to Judeo-Christian thinking that turn off many to the 12 Step possibilities. -d

April 6, 2009 at 7:51 pm
(4) Jared Combs says:

The twelve steps are excellent life guides for anyone, not just addicts/alcoholics. I wish everyone would attempt to incorporate them into their lives. It would change the world.
Please don’t let the negative stereotypes associated with the 12-step groups deter you from going there to get help. Those guys know how to quit and stay quit. They know what you’re going through and they know how to guide you through those rough times. I’ve found my best friends in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, my 12-step group of choice. Yes you’ll find some folks there that don’t really wanna be there. You’ll find some idiots there. But you’ll also find some very understanding and helpful people trying to walk the same path as you, if you stick around awhile.

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