ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Does a 12-Step Program Really Help People?

Updated on April 8, 2017

What is the main premise of a 12-step program?

Since 1935, Alcoholic's Anonymous main focus is on the achievement of sobriety and maintaining sobriety. This is accomplished through the fellowship of other individuals having suffered the effects of Alcoholism. Today, there are various forms of 12-step programs, that have adopted the AA model. However, the main question is, do these steps truly lead someone toward maintaining a healthy and sober lifestyle?

According to the American Addictions Center Website, they report (from SAMHSA) that only about 74% of treatment center's utilize the 12-step based programs in assisting individuals to achieve sobriety. Other agencies have adopted alternate methodologies to the 12-steps.

The article also cites an article in the Addiction Research and Theory that was published in 2015. This research paper reports:

...abstinence practices (as supported by 12-Step programs) can account for high levels of what experts call flourishing, which is positive mental health and can contribute to longer-term recovery. In the study, those who maintained abstinence were more likely to flourish in the long-term, with 40.7 percent flourishing after three months (as compared to 9.3 percent languishing) and nearly 40 percent flourishing after 12 months (compared to 12.4 percent languishing). Based on this study, those who abstain altogether from substances – as advised in the 12-Step model – have better mental health outcomes than those who don’t abstain.

With the understanding and influence community based sober support networks (like Alcoholic Anonymous) has on the long term maintenance of sobriety, one may see the positive impact it has on an individual's sustainability for healthier living. Not all people view 12-steps as being practical, or even beneficial. That is because, 12-step based programs are mere suggestions and recommendations. It is only one component to a healthy recovery program.

Overall, the heart of a 12-step based recovery program focuses more on the transformation of one's mental/emotional, relational, physical and nutritional, financial, and spiritual well-being.

12-Step Snapshot

Source

Recovery is possible

One of the major benefits sober support meetings provide is the hope that recovery is possible. This is because, the appeal of 12-step programs are more fluid and flexible than they are rigid. There is no requirement to subscribe to any specific belief - except the desire and belief recovery is possible.

The other aspect of recovery through a 12-step based program is the fact that it may be person-centered. What this means is that individuals choose how they will go about working through the steps, the length of time they decide to work each specific step, and who they decide to work with.

Each person comes to seek help lifting themselves out of the impoverish and progressive disease of substance use disorder. What may work for one person, may not altogether work for another person. This is the great beauty of a 12-step program.

Answering the question

The 12-step programs are helpful in moving people out of a toxic and progressively debilitating lifestyle. It provides hope, flexible to fit within the defined beliefs and values of that individual, and encourages a person to begin transforming their own lives through recommendations and suggestions. Each person approaches recovery differently. And, while a 12-step program may not be something for everyone, those who have worked a program have provided insights in the way it's changed their lives to where they are now sustaining a more healthier way.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      17 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Having been involved with a 12-step program previously, the thing that I found most beneficial is that it treated me as a whole person, not just an addict. It brought about the healing of my soul, or my spirit and body together. I was able to find something higher than myself to tap into. This gave me a sense of well-being, a purpose for living, and hope for the future. These are the very things that enabled my long-term abstinence.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)