Rehabilitating Without a 12-Step Program

Many addicts – especially alcoholics – have found tremendous success in managing their addictive behavior using a traditional 12-step program. Others have not found the 12 steps to be so helpful, however, which has given rise to alternative treatment programs. Often referred to as non-12 step programs, they fill an important void for those who don’t quite fit into the 12-step model.

Like their 12-step forerunners, non-12 step recovery plans help addicts detoxify and rehabilitate while providing support in an ongoing aftercare program. The similarity here is clear as well, since the aftercare includes therapy, self-esteem and self-efficacy training, and an emphasis on health and well-being.

There isn’t a strict definition for what a non-12 step program should be, outside of the fact that it doesn’t use the 12-step format. Some non-12’s take a holistic approach to sobriety, looking at the addict’s choices in the context of society and the world at large, while others are based more on the science of addiction and recovery. Rehab-Finder.Org will gladly guide you in choosing a non-12 step recovery program most suited to your needs.

12-step programs are not right for everyone

What a Non-12 Step Recovery Program Is

One of the most obvious differences between a non-12 and a 12-step program is the individual approach to recovery a non-12 takes. In the conventional 12-step program, recovering addicts all go through the same steps and are expected to follow the steps in order. If their progress is slower than expected or they have a relapse, they are to blame – not the program.

Recovering addicts have enough guilt and blame on their shoulders; they don’t need the added pressure of following a recovery plan that may or may not fit their needs. Rather than help them move forward, this unnecessary burden can actually push many people further away from recovery, especially if their sponsors and support groups are insensitive enough to tell them they just didn’t try hard enough.

Non-12 step programs start with the individual, and create a personalized plan to help them achieve sobriety. The programs are structured enough to give a person something to strive for, yet flexible enough to allow for adjustments if the pace of recovery is too fast or too slow. If the desired results are not achieved, the program can be revamped. Proponents of non-12’s do not believe in one-size-fits-all approaches to sober living.

How Alcoholics Recover Using Non-12 Step Rehab

Since the 12 steps were created to address alcoholism, this is where the different approach used by a non-12 becomes most pronounced. In the 12 Steps to Recovery used by Alcoholics Anonymous, recovering addicts are taught to believe that their addiction is the root of all their problems. Also, they are required to admit their inability to control their addictive tendencies and rely on a higher power to give them the strength to be sober. Perhaps most importantly, the 12 Steps of AA treat addiction as an incurable illness, not an affliction that can be overcome.

Non-12 programs believe addiction is a symptom, not a permanent condition of existence, and that with time and the right treatment it can be completely overcome.

Non-12’s consider addiction to be a symptom of bigger issues. Focusing on the addiction would be similar to going to the doctor’s office with a broken bone, and having the doctor give you something for the pain without trying to understand what was causing it. Non-12’s look for contextual issues such as childhood trauma or social pressures, and then help you develop a strategy for handling those obstacles to lessen the need for addictive behavior.

The reliance on a higher power is also a sticking point for advocates of non-12’s. They feel that by admitting powerlessness, addicts absolve themselves of responsibility for their actions and admit that they are broken and defeated. Non-12 programs are not inherently atheistic, but they do emphasize the need for self-efficacy and look for ways to empower the patient to lead a sober life.

This also leads to the third distinction between 12-step and non-12 step programs, which is the ability to fully heal from addiction. Non-12 programs believe addiction is a symptom, not a permanent condition of existence, and that with time and the right treatment it can be completely overcome.

Non-12 Step Recovery for Drug Abuse

Historically speaking, 12-step programs are designed to deal with alcoholism. While the steps can and have been modified in a variety of ways to address different addictions, the shortcomings of the 12 steps become even more evident with substances such as cocaine, heroin, and prescription drugs. This is where the flexibility and individuality of the non-12 approach truly shines.

Using evidence-based and research-backed practices that adhere to the latest scientific findings, a personalized plan of action to deal with both the immediate and long-term impact of drug addiction is developed. The plan can be modified as new information comes to light, which means that the patient is always receiving the most up-to-date treatment options, and they are constantly engaged in the creation and refinement of their recovery, encouraging self-efficacy.

Making the Best Choice When it Comes to Non-12 Step Treatment Centers

When it comes to choosing any rehabilitation center, the most important consideration is whether or not it fits your needs. To know whether or not a non-12 step recovery program is a better choice for you, Rehab-Finder.Org counselors suggest considering how you feel about the various elements of the programs:

  • Beliefs About Addiction: Non-12 programs believe that with time, effort, and the right treatment program, addiction can be completely overcome.
  • Medical Support: Rather than quitting “cold turkey,” non-12 step therapists use prescription drugs to ease the transition to sobriety.
  • Use of Holistic Therapies: It is common to see yoga, acupuncture, meditation, and exercise all being used as part of the therapy at a non-12 center.
  • Healing From Trauma: Non-12 step programs tend to believe that underlying trauma is the true enemy, and addiction is simply a symptom of this emotional damage.

If you are considering a non-12 step program please call Rehab-Finder.Org today. Our counselors are ready to help you understand the variety of treatment options and determine what your insurance will help you afford. Don’t wait any longer to get the help you need to live addiction-free.

Call us today at 877-251-4813.

The Process is Free, Easy, Effective, and 100% Confidential



1

Call our admissions coordinators on our 24-hour hotline at 877-251-4813.

2

We'll coordinate with your insurance to find the lowest out of-pocket cost, or arrange payment plan options.

3

Begin treatment and begin the path to recovery.



877-251-4813