Patients have access to many addiction treatment options. Twelve-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) rank high in popularity. A 12 step program helps patients build a peer support system. In doing so, they can continue moving through the recovery process. Northern Illinois Recovery Center can guide you through the 12 Step process and help you or a loved one find a group.
Defining a 12 Step Program
The first major organization to develop a written 12 step program is Alcoholics Anonymous. After individuals started achieving sobriety within the confines of these programs, professionals began to realize that this program could apply to other issues and addictions.
There are a wide variety of 12 step programs, but they all follow the same concepts:
- A patient admitting that they have a substance abuse problem
- Turning to a higher power outside of themselves to receive help
- Being accountable, taking inventory, going through the healing process, and asking for forgiveness
- Working on their recovery daily
- Helping others achieve sobriety
Throughout the years, many professionals have adapted 12 step programs to help individuals who are struggling with a wide variety of addictions beyond the scope of alcohol addiction.
The Four Benefits of Following a 12 Step Program
It isn’t uncommon to wonder if a 12 step program is worth your time or if it’s going to be beneficial. Here are the top four benefits of following a 12 step program:
- Having access: It’s possible to find a 12 step program just about anywhere. That means it’s possible to get the support that patients need when they need it
- Inner reflections: The 12 steps to recovery involve taking a deep look inward regarding being honest about the patient and their choices
- Not feeling alone: Having a sense of belonging is critical for those who are newly sober. That way, they don’t feel like they’re the only ones struggling to maintain their sobriety
- Support and encouragement: One of the strongest components of these programs is fellowship. Participating in these programs give patients access to others who love seeing people succeed
Using 12 Step Programs for Relapse Prevention
Beyond the four benefits above, we must also mention the benefits of using a 12 step program for relapse prevention. When patients participate in these programs, they become part of a community dedicated to supporting and healing.
These group sessions allow patients to ask for help without feeling fear, judgment, or shame. The more actively someone participates in these group sessions, the more likely they are to achieve long-term sobriety.
Understanding the 12 Steps to Recovery
Beyond the benefits of a 12 step program, it’s also important to understand the 12 steps to recovery. The basic principles of these programs include believing that people can help each other maintain their sobriety. They can accomplish this goal by attending 12 step meetings where they share experiences and offer support.
These principles extend to a model developed to help patients build on the following emotional and mental transformative tools and practices:
- Having the ability to recognize and admit that they’re suffering from an addiction
- Surrendering to the fact that an addiction exists and the decision to seek guidance from an outside source
- Self-awareness and observation regarding the behaviors leading to the addiction
- Opportunities to practice restraint and build-up the patient’s self-esteem regarding their positive capabilities
- Achieving self-acceptance while simultaneously changing behaviors
- Access to tools necessary for making the process of continuous practice for the rest of the patient’s life
12 Step Programs at Northern Illinois Recovery Center
Finding a high-quality aftercare program after achieving sobriety is critical for maintaining that success. By participating in a 12 step program, you’re helping prevent relapse while simultaneously supporting others. Contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center at 855.786.1978 to learn more about the benefits of these programs and how we can help.