Benefits of 12 Step Rehab

by Balboa Horizons | May 22, 2018

Around 74 percent of rehab facilities incorporate 12 step methods into well-rounded treatment programs.

The 12 step model was created when Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in 1935. The two founders were a physician and a would-be lawyer who was too intoxicated to pick up his diploma from law school. Both men stayed sober for the remainder of their lives.

AA began as a faith-based organization, but it was open to people of all religions and even atheists. Modern 12 step programs still operate that way. People of all belief systems and walks of life can feel comfortable joining a group.

More than 20 million recovering addicts all over the world participate in AA or some form of 12 step rehab. The model is a powerful tool for beating addiction to alcohol, all kinds of illicit drugs and prescription painkillers.

Here are some of the many benefits of participation:

Better Understanding of Your Addiction

The first step in 12 step rehab is admitting that you’re powerless over addiction.

Addiction isn’t a moral failing or lack of willpower that you can work to correct. It’s a real disease without a cure. However, you can learn to manage it and prevent relapse just as you would if you had asthma or diabetes.

Diabetics who hope to be around for a while don’t give up on their treatment. They know that managing the disease is a lifelong process. They see their doctors regularly, take their medications and closely monitor their blood sugar levels.

In the same way, addiction will get the better of you if you ever decide that you no longer need help. Because 12 step rehab is a trustworthy, long-term safeguard against relapse, you need it.

There’s a reason for AA having 115,000 fellowships in the U.S. and Canada. There’s a reason for recovering alcoholics to regularly attend meetings. According to a 2014 survey of 6,000 AA members, they attend two to three times a week on average.

People who choose 12 step rehab in California understand their disease and know what they must do to stay on top of it.

A Network of Support

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse is more likely than not. That’s discouraging, but all the experts agree that attendance at peer group meetings dramatically improves your chances of staying clean and sober.

As a newcomer to 12 step rehab, you’ll receive a warm welcome. Everyone has been right where you are. You don’t have to share if you don’t want to, but meetings provide a safe place to voice your struggles without fear of judgment. Group members are compassionate and supportive. You’ll get valuable tips from others who are farther along on the road to recovery.

Healthy socialization is another advantage. Everyone needs friends, but you’ll probably have to make a clean break from some of yours if you associate them with drug or alcohol abuse. That’s just one of the sad consequences of addiction.

A common goal unites group members. They organize social outings such as hikes, shopping trips, game nights and trips to the movies. In the process of healing, many form lifelong friendships.

Compatibility With Other Treatment Methods

Close to 60 percent of respondents in the AA survey combine 12 step rehab with other effective treatment methods. Examples include cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational therapy, family counseling and holistic approaches. The more weapons you have at your disposal, the more likely you are to win the battle.

Around 85 percent of respondents said that 12 step rehab plays a key role in their continued success.

Widespread Endorsement

Only 30 percent of the AA members surveyed were self-motivated to join a group. Fifty-seven percent, on the other hand, were referred by a mental health professional, counselor or medical doctor.

Dr. Marc Galanter is the director of the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse at the New York University School of Medicine. He recently authored a book. “What Is Alcoholics Anonymous?” advocates the 12 step model and examines its place in medicine. The book may be the first to bring hard science into the discussion of what began as a faith-based program.

In short, most medical and mental health professionals are in favor of 12 step programs. Facilities that use the 12 step model must be doing something right.

About Balboa Horizons, 12 Step Rehab in California

Our licensed, accredited treatment center offers separate programs for men and women. You may participate on an inpatient or outpatient basis. You can try many other proven methods that are compatible with 12 step principles, and your treatment plan may be adjusted at any time to best suit your needs.

Every day at Balboa Horizons, recovering addicts in our 12 step groups are inspired to stay clean. We hope that you’ll be the next.