What are the Benefits of the 12 Step Program?

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When someone refers to the “12 steps” or “12-step program,” they’re referencing the concrete actions to take to get sober and live a life of recovery. Written by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, commonly called “AA,” the steps have an estimated membership of over 2 million people and have helped save countless lives from addiction. 

The benefits of the 12-step program include a guide on healing from addiction, a community to help you on your journey, and a proven success rate. 

What Are the 12 Steps?

The 12 steps are just as they sound – 12 steps to take to live a life in recovery from addiction. The formation behind the 12 steps started in 1938 when two men, Bill Wilson, and Bob Smith, wrote down what would later be called the first edition of the Big Book. These teachings and the steps are the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The good news is that you don’t have to pay money or join a group to access the 12-steps. However, attending AA meetings, going to a treatment program that incorporates the 12-steps, and being involved with a like-minded community significantly lessens an individual’s chance of relapse. 

So, what are they? See below. 

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His Will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

 

The core belief of all 12-step rehabs is that people with an addiction can help each other to achieve and maintain sobriety. They typically meet at regularly scheduled days and times, with meetings serving as a way for members to discuss where they are at in their recovery, as well as their experience with addiction and sobriety. 

These programs also promote sobriety through abstinence from all potentially addictive substances, which has been shown to help keep members from relapsing, reducing relapse rates by as much as 40 percent over those who don’t attend 12-step rehab. 

To learn more about the history behind the 12-steps, head here

How successful are the 12 Steps?

Now that you know all about the 12 steps, let’s look at their potential benefits. For starters, AA claims that about 75% of its members remain abstinent. Relapse is extremely common in addiction, but they also claim 25% remain sober after a relapse. However, since the nature of the group is anonymity, it can be difficult to pinpoint concrete statistics. We do know that millions of addicts and loved ones have seen the benefits of AA in their lives.

Another priceless benefit is that the 12 steps provide a sober community. When an individual is changing their life, leaving addiction, they most likely need a whole new lifestyle and people to surround themselves with. The steps, specifically attending groups, allow you to meet like-minded people without fear of judgment. 

Another benefit of the 12 steps is that they provide structure, giving an individual clear guidelines on what to focus on, without overwhelming them. Additional benefits of the 12 steps include accessibility (AA meetings and 12-step treatment programs are plentiful) and a commitment to recovery. 

Where Can I Find an AA Meeting?

If you are interested in learning more about the 12 steps or what a 12-step program meeting looks like, head here to find a meeting near Alpharetta. If not located in Georgia, you can find the nearest AA meeting to you through this website

At Emerge Healing Center, also in Alpharetta, GA, we offer 12-step programming and other tools that complement that treatment. These include CBT/DBT, holistic therapy, equine therapy, EMDR therapy, and more. 

Deciding if 12-step programming is the most beneficial option for you may seem like a challenge. However, if you are someone who has a belief in a higher power, or an interest in learning more about the belief in how a higher power can help you find sobriety, then a 12-step rehab may be right for you. 

Getting Treatment

If you or a loved one are currently dealing with an addiction and would like to know more about treatment options in Atlanta that include 12 Step programming, contact us today. At Emerge Healing Center, our team can help you to decide which program is right for you, as well as design a treatment program that will maximize your chances of success. Gain control of your life with the help of the right treatment center, and find out just how fulfilling an addiction-free life can be.

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