The Advantages of 12-Step Programs
12-step programs have been around for many years and help people manage sobriety. Throughout the years, since the inception of AA, there have been many advances in the field of addiction recovery. Today, more evidence-based treatments exist to help individuals become sober and stay sober. Some of these include specific therapies such as motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and certain medications.
With more and more research and evidence-backed success rates of modern treatment, you might wonder if 12-step programs have a place in your recovery. For many, there are still plenty of advantages to attending 12-step programs. 12-step programs can help round out a strung and structured recovery regimen. Let’s take a look at some of these advantages and why 12-step programs remain beneficial for recovery.
Provide Sober Community
Once leaving treatment, you return to your everyday life. With this, you will likely encounter friends and family that still use substances. Being around these environments can leave you feeling triggered, unsupported, and wanting to use substances. Building healthy and sober relationships in recovery is not only among the hardest challenges in early recovery, but it is essential for long-term sobriety. Among the top benefits of going to 12-step meetings is they provide a sober community. These sober networks are necessary for sustaining a successful recovery.
Attending 12-step meetings provides social contact with others who share your sobriety goals and are willing to help when you feel stressed or tempted to use. Having a network of sober friends to call on for help lends a significant advantage for enduring the difficult emotions and experiences that come with early recovery. Through expressing shared experiences, you will feel understood and supported in a way that provides security and comfort. Therefore, 12-step programs will always have a ready-made sober community available to you.
12-Step Programs Are Everywhere
Another advantage to 12-step programs is that they are available almost everywhere; most cities and towns provide at least one 12-step meeting as they are essential to recovery. Additionally, most treatment centers offer telehealth services to provide access to 12-step meetings online for more rural areas or those with longer commutes. Having exclusive access removes any excuses not to participate as you can attend meetings from the comfort of your own home.
Today, 12-step programs are versatile in that some forums allow you to bring friends and family, which is very beneficial to helping your loved ones understand what you might be experiencing in overcoming addiction. Having loved ones that attain a better understanding only contributes to them being able to meet your needs in an appropriate manner. These meetings also help remind you of how far you have come and the many lessons you have learned in recovery. Staying in touch with these thoughts is empowering because they remind you of all the hard work and accomplishments you have already gained.
They Provide Structure
Most discover in early recovery that they have a lot more free time now that they are no longer using. Not being able to fill this time can harm your recovery and cause you to become bored, isolated, and ultimately have negative thoughts and behaviors toward using again. If you are not working to fill your time, it can only perpetuate these negative thoughts and behaviors. Therefore, finding structure in early recovery is essential. Having somewhere to be on a regular basis and at a specific time with others that support your recovery provides structure and keeps you grounded.
Additionally, attending meetings regularly also strengthens your commitment to recovery. It is especially beneficial in early recovery as it keeps you consistent, focused, and accountable. Having this kind of structure will continue to build upon your self-confidence and self-reliance to handle challenges.
They Offer Opportunities to Help Others
12-step meetings are successful steps to lasting recovery because of the range and diversity within each group. People from all different points of life and recovery will normally be interdependent. You might even connect with a mentor of sorts to help you along and flourish in recovery. Having this level of support is both motivating and empowering to helping you remain accountable and motivated.
Alternatively, you might encounter someone in the early stages and become a mentor-type to them in their journey to recovery. Ultimately, the success of 12-step meetings and strengthening the recovery community is a reciprocal process. 12-step meetings might also present additional volunteering opportunities within your community. Such opportunities help you get outside of your head, forget about your troubles, and focus on helping another, making this a very powerful experience.
While modern treatments and therapies provide alternative and effective ways to maintain sobriety, if coupled with 12-step meetings, you put yourself at an advantage to staying sober. At Choice House, we offer both conventional and alternative models of treatments and therapies so that the men who seek us have the best access to resources that help attain recovery. We also implement outdoor therapy practices to prepare you for facing real-life scenarios. Our group and team-building practices create strong support systems and help you gain confidence in yourself and with trusting others. We also provide information about local 12-step programs and remain a point of contact if at any point you need help. If you are currently struggling to manage addiction or recovery, then the time to seek help is today. With available 24/7 admissions, there is never a wrong time to reach out. For more information, contact us at (720) 577-4422.