Are All Alcohol Programs Similar to 12 Step Programs?

Everyone who is able to establish recovery from a drinking problems needs to remain diligent in the months and years following treatment. Remember, there is no cure for alcohol addiction. The disease lives inside the recovering alcoholic forever, looking for an opportunity to come back alive at anytime. By remaining diligent and doing the things necessary to protect one’s recovery, the alcoholism will hopefully lie dormant forever.

If you are looking for resources to help you stay on the straight and narrow path of recovery, it might interest you to know there are outside programs available to help you do just that. There are counseling programs, faith-based programs and holistic programs that keep you focused on the task at hand, never drinking again and staying sober.

The title of this writing seeks to find out if all alcohol recovery programs are run similar to the way 12-Step programs are run. The fast answer is that while there are some similarities, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a unique program that has helped tens of millions of alcoholics to stop drinking and maintain sobriety. The only other programs like AA would be other 12-Steps programs.

About Alcoholics Anonymous

More than 80 years ago, a gentleman named Bill Wilson, an alcoholic himself, sat with another alcoholic and discussed how they could help each other get sober and stay sober. That chance meeting would go down in addiction treatment history as the very first meeting of AA.

As the program grew and helped so many people remain sober, other 12-Step programs were developed to help people with other addictions like drugs, gambling and sex. No matter how different addictions might be by comparison, the associated 12-Step program remains the same. The covenant of any 12-Step program is the “12 Steps of Recovery.” The beauty of a 12-Step program is recovering addiction sufferers get the opportunity to help one another, building their own sobriety in the process.

Membership in AA is free. The only requirements for membership are a desire to stop drinking and eventually working the 12-Steps with a sponsor. The 12 Steps are like a stairwell to sobriety heaven.

Before proceeding to discuss the three main emphasis of the 12 Steps, it should be stated these are faith-based programs. However, it’s not about faith in a religion or a God, it’s faith in a “higher power” of each individual’s own understanding. The aforementioned main emphasis of the 12 Steps is as follows:

  • Admitting to powerlessness over the addiction
  • Taking responsibility for actions
  • Helping Others

We will now discuss these there things in more depth.

Admitting to Powerlessness

The first thing any alcoholic needs to do is admit they have a drinking problem. Absent doing this, it will be difficult for them to get motivated to get help. The truth is they have to do more than admit they have a problem. They have to be willing to admit they have disease, a disease they are powerless over without help and understanding of others, especially the higher power of their own understanding.

Taking Responsibility

Given the destructive nature of addiction, there’s always collateral damage from the addiction sufferer’s life. There are people that got harmed and things that got broken. The recovering individual must be willing to take responsibility for their actions from the past and into the future. The must face up to the damaged they may have caused. Ultimately, they need to attempt to make amends to others so long as doing so wouldn’t create additional problems.

Helping Others

Once the slates are clean and the 12-Step member feels empowered by their higher power, it’s time to turn the attention towards helping others. As indicated earlier, there nothing more powerful than one addiction sufferer helping another. That’s exactly why 12-Step programs exist. They give people someplace they can go to get and give help when necessary. The truth is no one is going to understand what it feels like to be powerless over an addiction unless they have walked a mile in those shoes. By staying connected to their higher power and giving back to a 12 Step program, sobriety seems to get easier.

If you are new to recovery, we highly recommend you check out an AA meeting in your area. If you are still dealing with your addiction, we can help you find recovery. All we need to start you down that path is one phone call to 833-762-3739.