12-Step Interventions and Mutual Support Programs for Substance Use Disorders: An Overview PMC

One’s specific reframing of “God” will determine how they will confess their wrongs. Ultimately, this inventory process makes recovery much more attainable. As this “moral inventory” grows, those in recovery can find areas of both weakness and strength. Both are important when one is choosing actions that are morally correct. Turning your will over does not mean all control of life is in the hands of the external.

Sponsors are not medical professionals, but many of them are in recovery. They share their knowledge and advice with people who are still learning how to navigate the challenges of maintaining recovery after quitting alcohol or other drugs. After re-entering treatment at Towns Hospital in December 1934, Wilson experienced a spiritual awakening that caused him to stop drinking. Shortly after, in 1935, he co-founded AA with Dr. Bob Smith, a physician in Akron, Ohio, who struggled with alcoholism.

Pros and Cons of 12-Step Recovery Programs

For women, there is a long and painful history of patriarchy, oppression, and subjugation. Thus, the idea of turning one’s life over to a male God may feel reminiscent of this history for some. Additionally, concepts of surrender, powerlessness, and turning one’s life over are not only difficult for some women to accept but may also be challenging for ethnic minorities.

  • In fact, 65% of facilities use 12-Step facilitation as one of their therapy offerings.1 Some facilities may also offer 12-Step mutual support groups.
  • Typically, they noted, when counselors do attempt to support 12-Step self-help group involvement in treatment, they rarely use empirically supported methods.
  • In fact, many agnostic and atheist AA groups exist and are growing rapidly.
  • Attend meetings for loved ones of those recovering from an addiction as a way of supporting yourself and connecting with others who can relate.

It is important to understand that 12-tep programs do not require a belief in God. In fact, many agnostic and atheist AA groups exist and are growing rapidly. In AA, one might hear GOD referred to as a Group Of Drunks, while a group of sober alcoholics might be considered a higher power for whom to turn to for help. An interesting finding by Tonigan and colleagues found that belief in God is not necessary to experience benefit from AA, but those who identify as atheist or agnostic are less likely to attend meetings [45].

Step Fellowships

Further, they also should examine the methods employed by their counselors in this regard. Typically, they noted, when counselors do attempt to support 12-Step self-help group involvement in treatment, they rarely use empirically supported methods. When clinicians use empirically validated techniques to support mutual help group involvement, it is far more likely to occur (Humphreys, https://trading-market.org/art-therapy-for-drug-alcohol-addiction-recovery/ 1999). A key element of cultural beliefs, values, and norms is spirituality. In addition to examining spirituality as cultural element, this discussion provides a contradictory view of a primary criticism of 12-step programs, the religious and spiritual undertones. Abraham Maslow, noted psychologist and theorist, said “the spiritual life is part of the human essence.

12 step program

Further, for those with a poor prognosis, AA/TSF had higher cost savings compared to Motivational Enhancement Therapy. If 12 step programs are not religious but rather spiritual programs, what exactly is spirituality and how does it support recovery? Spirituality is described as a creative and universal part of the human experience.

4 Native Americans and 12-step models

For those struggling with alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international organization of peer groups meet to support each other. Members meet regularly to discuss issues and concerns related to their addiction and to support one another through triumphs and relapses. Generally, more seasoned group members “sponsor” newer members, guiding them through the process of “working the steps” to help on alcohol rehabilitation. Many addiction treatment programs incorporate 12-Step programs or 12-Step facilitation therapy into their services.

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Individuals who have initiated and engaged in 12-Step activities through the efforts of such volunteers have credited the peer intervention as being the most important factor that motivated them to seek help for their SUD. A number of interventions have demonstrated efficacy in facilitating attendance at 12-Step meetings and engagement in 12-Step recovery activities. “TS [Twelve Step] facilitative treatment content designed to orient, facilitate, and acculturate How To Cure Boredom: 7 Ways To Stop Being Bored clients into TS recovery practices are effective at increasing measures of affiliation during the first year following treatment” (Cloud & Kingree, 2008, p. 285). Both approaches have merit and are important resources, potentially being appropriate and effective with different subgroups of individuals. In such cases, approaches that focus more on 12-Step practices and tenets and less on meeting attendance may be needed (Caldwell & Cutter, 1998).

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