AA is an international organization of peer groups that meet together to offer each other support in addiction recovery. This group was created by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in 1935 and was originally intended to help people with alcoholism.1 The Big Book was published by the AA founders as a guide for people who couldn’t attend meetings, but eventually became a general model for the program. Since then, AA has been expanded to treat various substance abuse disorders, allowing more people to experience the many 12-step program benefits.
The 12-step program for addiction is an approach created by Alcoholics Anonymous to help people with substance abuse disorders sustain their sobriety. The founders of the program believed that members could not achieve long-term sobriety until they completed all 12 steps.
The basic principle of the 12-step program for drug abuse and alcoholism is that people can help each other achieve and maintain their sobriety, but healing cannot be achieved unless the individual surrenders to a higher power. Each step represents a major milestone that the individual needs to reach.
Members in a 12-step program under the guidance of a sponsor will practice the following:
Most 12-step programs last for 90 days, during which the individual attends 90 group meetings where they ask questions, answer questions, and receive advice from a sponsor and others in the recovery community. There are also different types of 12-step programs, including Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Codependents Anonymous, Al-Anon, Sex Addicts Anonymous, Eating Disorders Anonymous, and Gamblers Anonymous.
This variety has opened the doors for individuals battling other addictions and mental health disorders to receive support. We offer a 12-step program at our Banyan Texas rehab that can help you or a loved one stay sober after rehab.
There has been a lot of debate on the success rate of 12-step programs and Alcoholics Anonymous, in general. However, many people have experienced AA and 12-step program benefits. One study concluded that the success rate of 12-step programs was over 70%. This statistic applied to individuals who attended a 12-step meeting weekly for 6 months and were found to have still been abstinent at their two-year follow-up.3
Another study conducted on males from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs shared the abstinence rates for those recovering from alcoholism at one year and 18 months. The study showed that 20 to 25 percent of those who didn’t attend a 12-step program, such as AA, or any other form of aftercare stayed sober for one year. However, the abstinence rate was nearly double for those who attended AA or a similar 12-step program with no aftercare.3
When incorporated with other forms of substance abuse treatment, members of 12-step programs receive support for their physical symptoms of addiction, as well. Even so, we must also consider that while the 12-step program does work and has worked for many recovering addicts, like any other form of addiction treatment, it may be more helpful to some than others.
Banyan Treatment Centers Texas offers various Texas drug and alcohol treatment options to be able to help people battling various substance use disorders, including those related to alcohol, benzodiazepines, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, opioids, prescription pills, and more. We encourage individuals with addictions to undergo professional treatment before joining a 12-step program.
Some benefits of 12-step groups and meetings include:
By offering these tools to individuals recovering from substance abuse, the 12-step model can be a method for change in many disorders and forms of behavior. As a result, it can aid in the addiction recovery process.
Recovery begins with addiction treatment. If you’re interested in substance abuse care for yourself or a loved one, call us now at 888-280-4763 for more information about our addiction levels of care.