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The 12-Step Program And How Addicts Benefit From It

Man Depressed from Drug
For the past 80 years, 12-step programs have been successful in helping alcoholics and those addicted to narcotics to stay on the path to recovery. While a faith-based version of the 12-step program was created at AA, other groups that focus on recovering from addiction, including Narcotics Anonymous (NA), have utilized the 12-step program as well.

The General Basics of 12-Step Programs

The 12-step program is exactly what it sounds like. It involves the step-by-step process that an addict goes through on the road to recovery. It is not the goal of the program to accomplish all the steps at once. The addict completes the first one, and then when they feel they have accomplished that one, they move on to the next until all 12 steps have been completed.

The very first thing the addict needs to do is admit that the substance to which they are addicted has power over them. Throughout the remaining steps they seek the help of a higher power, recognize any character flaws they might have, ask for forgiveness, and be willing to make amends with anyone they have hurt because of their addiction.

As part of the final step of the recovery process, the addict agrees to share their message with others who are suffering with addiction. While it's difficult to determine the success rate of the 12-step program, a lot of research points to its effectiveness for overcoming addiction.

When combining a 12-step program with either AA or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), there are many benefits of doing so, including the following.

Participants Can Find a Place to Start

Even though some addicts might want to kick their addition, oftentimes, they don't know where to start. This is especially true when they don't have anyone to support them in the recovery process. The 12-step program helps overwhelmed addicts find a starting point for their recovery.

Participants Can Have the Support of a Sponsor 

People who go through AA or NA and follow a 12-step program can choose whether or not they want a sponsor. The sponsor is considered a mentor who has followed the 12-step program and has been in recovery for at least one year. Besides being someone to confide in, a sponsor also offers accountability.

For those who opt to have a sponsor, they should be sure to show up to meetings with that sponsor. Other recommendations regarding sponsors include:
  • The sponsor should be someone that can be trusted
  • There should be firm boundaries set between the sponsee and the sponsor
  • There should be an established understanding that a sponsor is a mentor and not a therapist
When choosing a sponsor, it's not a good idea for the sponsee to pick a really close friend or someone with whom they are romantically involved.

Participants Don't Have to Worry About Being Judged Unfairly

Oftentimes when people with similar problems and struggles come together in a group, there is no judgment or stigma. This is primarily due to the fact that even though participants may have different backgrounds and stories, all addicts in recovery share a common bond, which is to overcome their addiction.

Every addict going through the 12-step program has made bad choices and has done things they regret. In a 12-step recovery program, nobody is there to shame anyone, judge anyone, or put others down.

It can be difficult to overcome an addiction. While you may have many people who have wanted you to get into recovery, you simply might not have been ready to do so. If you or a loved one is suffering with addiction and are ready to take the first step to sobriety, contact Clearview Recovery Center today.

Clearview is the best facility that I have ever been to. Staff is amazing. Life changing experience. Great program!
– Past Client

I would like to extend my gratitude to the staff for helping me help myself.
– Past Client

Best treatment facility I ever attended.
– Past Client

Coming to Clearview was an amazing experience for me.
– Past Client