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12 Step Vs. Non 12 Step

The 12 step and non 12 step programs are fundamental differences, which separate one drug rehab center from another. By understanding key facts and benefits of the two, you can determine which addiction treatment program is the best one for your needs.

Features of the 12 Step Program

The 12 Step-based drug treatment program offers a set of "spiritual" principles that outline a specific course of action for total recovery from addiction and several behavioral problems. The program was proposed originally by Alcoholics Anonymous,which involves these key aspects:

  • Admitting one's incapability of controlling addiction or compulsion
  • Recognizing the presence of a higher power to give strength of will
  • Analyzing past mistakes with the guidance of a sponsor or experienced member
  • Correcting these errors committed in the past
  • Learning the path to living a new life following the right code of behavior
  • Helping and guiding those who suffer from similar addictions or behavioral issues

In the program, members work with a sponsor who guides less-experienced aspirants throughout the course of recovery. New members are encouraged to establish a relationship with a sponsor, and these guides share their experiences, challenges and hopes with their "sponsees". However, sponsors are not supposed to function as a parent, social worker, banker, or legal adviser. Basically, sponsors are also addicts in recovery, and they are willing to share their journey with the sponsee by following the 12 steps.

Limitations of the Program

A number of rehabilitation centers in the United States require patients to follow the 12 steps to recovery. Drug addiction specialists in these facilities set guiding principles that devise a course of action that addicts should take. However, each person is different including his or her needs. Hence, there are instances when an addict fails to achieve total recovery because of the less customized plan provided to him or her.

Although the program claims a 30 percent success rate, they only tend to count individuals who complete the program, based on the report by Joseph A Califano, Jr., a former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in the United States. Califano was also the founder of the U.S. National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, and he discovered that 70 to 80 percent of addicts drop out of the program in 3 to 6 months.

The treatment program fails because it is established in an inaccurate and entrenched perception that addicts are weak and morally bereft. Based on the system, they would have stopped using drugs when they knew that these substances impact their lives negatively. According to researchers, most drug rehab centers in the United States are based on the archaic philosophy that is based on the 12-step programs. While this model has saved several lives from addiction, it fails to work for a large percentage of individuals who try it. For instance, most young adults and teenagers consider these programs as ineffective, particularly those who question religion. After all, these people who are most susceptible to drug addiction will not easily turn their lives over or surrender to anyone.

Facts about the Non 12 Step Program

The non 12 step program, on the other hand, offers various techniques that specialists can mix and match to cater to the individual's unique needs and situation. In addition, it is more therapeutic and personalized in nature, as it strives to guide and treat addicts holistically instead of focusing only on the addiction.

Patients undergo an one-on-one session with a counselor who evaluates and develops a flexible program that include various therapy options. Furthermore, this plan may be revised or altered as necessary. Drug addiction specialists may also maneuver the program to overlap with the patient's current stage of recovery.

This treatment system provides a sensible approach in dealing efficiently with the existing issue with drug addiction. What's more, the program does not tell people that addiction is a form of disease. Instead, patients are able to understand that drug addiction is an acquired behavior, and they are told that relapse is not a part of their recovery.

Facilities that offer the non 12 step program teach patients that anyone can overcome addiction, and it is possible for addicts to live a healthy and meaningful life without the influence of drugs and alcohol. During the course of treatment, the main focus in on the patient's health, and specialists provide counselling to help people understand what drugs cause. Lastly, the program teaches people essential life skills that will help them improve their lives without the use of harmful and illicit substances.

Bottom Line

Considering the features and benefits of both programs, it is important to determine the success rate of each in choosing a more reliable means of overcoming addiction. Patients should also look for a holistic program that targets every aspect of their health, so they can recover completely and obtain success in rebuilding their life.