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Is The 12-Step Program Effective?

people smiling in a 12 step program

The 12-step program has been a popular alcohol addiction intervention for decades. For a long time, research on 12-step program efficacy was absent. Fortunately, that has started to change in recent years. Many studies indicate that a 12-step program is an effective method for getting on the right track and initially supporting long-term recovery.

At Divided Sky, a 12-step program might be the key to genuine recovery from addiction, but the first step is up to you. Find out more about a 12-step program and how it can benefit you or a loved one by calling 888.509.1176 or contacting Divided Sky online today.

What Is a 12-Step Program?

Before digging deeper into 12-step program efficacy, it’s prudent to outline what the 12-step program is. The 12 steps are a guide to recovery. Their foremost implementation is for alcoholism. Alcoholics Anonymous is where the 12 steps were originally formulated and used. They have since been applied to treat other forms of addiction and substance abuse.

One misconception about the 12-step program is that it works best for people who are religious. The 12-step program does help people tap into their inherent spirituality, but 12-step program efficacy is not grounded in whether or not someone is religious. It does not require practicing any given religion to be useful during recovery. Moreover, the presence of some 12-step group meetings in churches does not mean attendees need to be religious to attend those meetings.

The 12-step program involves dual recurring themes: the notion that people must take responsibility for their actions and the idea that people need help during recovery.

The 12 steps as originally outlined by Alcoholics Anonymous are:

  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. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. We continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in our affairs.

Are 12-Step Programs Effective?

Research is clear that 12-step programs are an effective technique during addiction recovery. The protocol is perhaps best viewed as a type of informal therapy. The mutual accountability, sober socialization, and support people receive from involvement in a 12-step program all go a long way toward aiding recovery.

One point worth noting about 12-step program efficacy is that transformational results often come from expanded recovery options that go beyond just the 12 steps. Addiction recovery providers can utilize 12-step programs while simultaneously delivering additional evidence-based techniques and support.

Achieving recovery goals becomes dependent on more than just attending a support group that emphasizes the 12 steps. Rather, a 12-step program is one element of a larger addiction recovery plan. All that said, some people may rely entirely on a 12-step program for recovery and not need to bolster treatment with other interventions.

Experience 12-Step Program Efficacy at Divided Sky

Divided Sky is a mental health and addiction recovery provider. The 12-step program is one of the many evidence-based methods we use in helping people overcome addiction. With Divided Sky, you can engage in a 12-step program from the start of recovery.

Divided Sky’s expert clinicians help you make these important decisions. Let us partner with you to craft a roadmap to recovery. Call 888.509.1176 or fill out our online contact form to access high-quality addiction recovery services at Divided Sky.