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Understanding 12-Step Recovery: How and Why It Works

people sitting at table discuss 12 step recovery

12-step recovery is a well-known and widely used approach to treating substance use disorders (SUDs). The 12-step model was developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in the 1930s, and it has since been adapted for use in a variety of substance abuse and addiction treatment settings.

The 12-step model is based on the idea that individuals with SUDs are powerless over their addiction and that they need a higher power to achieve recovery. The 12 steps outline a set of guiding principles and actions that individuals can follow in order to achieve and maintain recovery. These steps include acknowledging the existence of a higher power, admitting powerlessness over the addiction, making amends to those who have been harmed, and taking responsibility for one’s actions.

Ready to learn more about Roaring Brook Recovery’s addiction therapy programs in Lexington? Call 855.590.9944 or reach out online today to get started.

What Is 12-Step Recovery?

One of the key elements of 12-step recovery is the concept of a sponsor. A sponsor is an individual who has successfully completed the 12 steps and who is willing to guide and support others in their recovery journey. Sponsors provide support and accountability, and they help individuals work through the 12 steps.

But is there evidence to support the effectiveness of 12-step recovery? According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 12-step recovery programs can be an effective component of a comprehensive treatment plan for individuals with SUDs. SAMHSA cites research showing that participation in AA can be associated with better treatment outcomes and increased long-term abstinence.

Other research has also supported the effectiveness of 12-step recovery. For example, a study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that individuals who participated in AA as part of their treatment for SUDs had significantly better outcomes than those who did not. Another study published in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse found that individuals who participated in AA were more likely to achieve and maintain long-term abstinence compared to those who did not.

What Makes 12-Step Programs Effective?

There are a few reasons why the 12-step model may be particularly effective. One reason is that it provides a sense of community and support. 12-step recovery programs are often built around group meetings, where individuals can connect with others who are going through similar challenges.

Group meetings provide:

  • A sense of community and belonging
  • Accountability and supportS
  • hared experience and understanding of addiction
  • A safe space to talk about challenges without judgment
  • Perspective on your own experiences

Another reason why the 12-step model is effective is that it encourages individuals to take an active role in their own recovery. By working through the steps and taking responsibility for their actions, individuals can develop new coping skills and behaviors that can support their recovery.

Finally, the 12-step model is effective because it focuses on long-term recovery. While it may take some time to work through all 12 steps, the goal is to achieve lasting recovery rather than just temporary abstinence.

It’s important to note that the 12-step model may not be the right fit for everyone, and it’s important to find a treatment approach that works for you. However, for those who do find the 12-step model helpful, it can be a powerful tool in the journey toward lasting recovery.

Reach Out to Roaring Brook Recovery Today

At Roaring Brook Recovery, we are proud to offer 12-step recovery as one of the tools in our toolbox. Our team of professionals is trained in the latest evidence-based treatments and therapies, and we are committed to helping our clients achieve lasting recovery.

Call 855.590.9944 or connect with our team online to get started.