The process of breaking drug and alcohol addiction is not a walk in the park. For many people, it is like an on and off switch; one moment they have quit taking drugs and are willing to take over the world, and the next they are powerless and back into the drugs. It is a constant struggle.

However, when you are working towards recovering from drug addiction, you do not have to do it alone, since you can find great help when you have others to support you. These others are not random people, but individuals struggling with addiction, too.

With this support and a structured recovery plan, you have a route out of the drug addiction darkness. The structured recovery plans are known as 12 step programs.

What are the 12 Step Programs?

The 12 step programs are professional treatment programs that aid addiction recovery by engaging you in support groups that offer healthy peer interactions, hope and encouragement. These programs utilize a set of principles that assist you by providing you with individual actions steps.

The self-help groups assist in facilitating the formation of groups of individuals with the same goals for long-term abstinence from alcohol and drugs and maintenance of sobriety. The addiction recovery method of the 12 step program started with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which is a program that is designed to give support to alcoholics or people struggling with alcohol addiction.

Types of 12 Step Programs

There are multiple 12 step programs based on the various drugs that people abuse and thus could differ from one group to the other. Therefore, you have to look for the specific group that fits your specific addiction, so that you can fully relate with everybody as you pursue sobriety.

Despite that each program differs from the other, the purpose of any 12 step program is to help you and others struggling with drug addiction. The various 12 step treatment models have gained acceptance worldwide among social workers, psychologists, medical doctors and therapists.

The various types of 12 step programs related to alcohol and drug addiction recovery include;

  • AA-Alcoholics Anonymous
  • CA –Cocaine Anonymous
  • CMA –Crystal Meth Anonymous
  • HA –Heroin Anonymous
  • MA –Marijuana Anonymous
  • NA –Narcotics Anonymous
  • SA –Smokers Anonymous

The Working of the 12- Step Programs

The basic idea that governs the working of the 12-step programs is giving you a process through which you can understand and thus manage your substance abuse problems or disorders. Additionally, you acquire social support in the process.

The psychology behind the 12-step program principles indicates that these mutual and non-profit self-help groups fulfill multiple significant needs such as:

  • Spiritual fulfillment
  • Guidance in changing destructive thought patterns and behaviors
  • Fellowship with other addicts ad support from peers
  • Life-improving experiences that are positive

As soon as you join any 12-step program, you are encouraged to work through twelve steps, one by one, with maintaining sobriety being the end result along with achieving spiritual awakening and carrying the message to anyone else battling drug addiction. These steps are discussed below;

  • Honesty: Drug and alcohol addiction involves a lot of self-denial. Therefore, recovery begins with being honest with yourself and admitting that you are absolutely powerless and your lie has become unmanageable. It does not matter how many years you have denied this; simply accepting that alcohol or drugs control you begin your journey to a better you.
  • Faith: A higher power has helped others overcome drug and alcohol addiction; why not you? Have faith in a higher power and believe that it can give you the strength to overcome your challenge. Believe that it is possible and it will be possible.
  • Surrender: You need to surrender everything to the higher power. Make the simple decision to give the higher power control over you and your actions and thoughts.
  • Soul Searching: Soul searching is about taking a personal inventory. Be honest about your life including past experiences, incidents, feelings, and thoughts that are difficult to think about. You must go past your fears and you can write them down.
  • Integrity: Integrity in this process is admitting that you have wronged, to the higher power, to yourself, and to those around you. Confess all your wrongs to be cleansed and leave the negativity in your past.
  • Acceptance: Acceptance is willing to accept your imperfections and character defects. Be willing to let go as the higher power will correct what needs correction.
  • Humility: Be humble before the higher power and ask for things that you are unable to do, such as removing the shortcomings you have.
  • Willingness: A list of those you have harmed and the wrongs you did is necessary, and so is making amends. It may be difficult but very necessary.
  • Forgiveness: Seek forgiveness from those you harmed. You can contact them because forgiveness is the medicine for your soul and spirit.
  • Maintenance: Maintain the personal inventory process, as well as admitting when wrong. This will help you maintain the spiritual progress in recovery.
  • Making Contact: Make contact with the higher power through prayer and determination. It will give you a connection with the higher power and enlightenment.
  • Service: Many out there are in need of these 12 steps. Therefore, carry the message about them to make others struggling to seek recovery.

Unique Features

The functioning of the 12 step programs is dependent on some unique features; a group setting and sponsorship. The members under the programs meet up in groups to discuss and apply the 12 steps. While doing so, there is a sponsor, who is a more experienced recovering addict. This individual is like a mentor since he or she guides the new group members.

The 12 step programs aim to heal your emotional and psychological being. They dig deeper into your problems and if you are completely honest and acknowledge the higher power, you begin to heal your soul and spirit.

Drug and alcohol addiction may be a disease. But it sure has a cure. You just need to pursue it with focus, vigor and higher power.