Exploring Non-12-Step Recovery
Although twelve-step addiction recovery programs are possibly the best-known support programs, they are not for everyone. Since the 12 steps were founded in the 1930s, attitudes have shifted significantly from believing that addiction is a character flaw towards acknowledging it as an illness that can be treated. 12 steps is a faith-based recovery approach that requires the belief in a higher power to achieve recovery and this is an approach that may have less resonance with people in modern society.
People looking for a non-12 step rehab center are often uncertain of what’s available. In this article, we set out some alternatives that are likely to appeal to different types of people who feel more comfortable with a different approach to their recovery program.
Some of the questions people have about non-12 step programs include:
- What is the difference between 12 step and non 12 step rehab centers?
- What are some of the options for non-12 step programs?
- Are non 12 step rehab programs effective?
What’s the Difference between 12 Step vs. Non-12-Step Programs?
12 step programs are faith-based, which means members are required to believe in God or an entity more powerful than themselves. This is because the 12 step programs guide members through the process of submitting their will to their higher power and requesting help to overcome their issues. Members are expected to become powerless in the presence of their higher power so as to introduce a level of accountability that has particular resonance for people of faith.
Here we set out some basic differences between the two approaches:
- 12 step has a spiritual outlook on recovery
- Non 12 step rehab programs focus on the pursuit of knowledge and self-reliance
- 12 step requires an admission that an individual is powerless over their addiction
- Non 12 step seeks to return control to individuals so they can make healthier choices
- 12 step is a structured program that has not changed since it was founded in the 1930s
- Non 12 step drug rehab centers are constantly altering their approach according to the latest addiction research
Which Programs Are Non-12-Step?
SMART Recovery (Self-Management for Addiction Recovery)
SMART Recovery is non-12 step drug rehab that focuses on empowerment and self-reliance. The therapies involved in SMART Recovery serve to establish the root causes of addiction and the negative thoughts and behaviors driving it. SMART Recovery embraces the latest in scientific and psychological research, making its recovery program work proactively with individuals dealing with all types of addiction. SMART Recovery uses principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to identify negative behaviors and then sets about to alter them so that patients have more positive responses to stressors for substance abuse in the future.
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS)
In a similar way to SMART Recovery, an SOS model is based on scientific research in the field of addiction and doesn’t align itself with any particular treatment methodology. SOS recovery groups are based on the theory that there are numerous approaches to treatment and no one specific route that has to be taken. Secular Organizations for Sobriety have been shown to be highly effective in finding recovery solutions for people from all types of backgrounds and with wildly varying beliefs. In this respect, SOS is an excellent resource for people looking for 12-step alternatives to addiction recovery.
Women for Sobriety
Traditional recovery programs like 12 step are not always effective, particularly for women. This is mainly because women tend to become addicted to drugs or alcohol in response to more emotional reasons than men. Many of them may feel inadequate as mothers or unattractive to their partner and there is usually an element of low self-esteem involved.
The organization Women for Sobriety is a gender-specific recovery support group that deals with the very specific issues women with addiction face. Women tend to thrive in non-12 step programs because conversely, they seek to empower them as individuals so that they can assert their wishes better and have their voices heard. Being listened to and empathized with has much more importance to a woman and many can feel they lose a sense of who they are in relationships or through society’s expectations of them.
The Non-12 Step Holistic Approach to Recovery
Research shows that nearly 70% of Americans use some kind of holistic treatment or therapy in their daily lives. In the field of addiction, the holistic approach has been shown to be a highly-effective alternative to 12 step recovery. Holistic practices such as yoga, meditation, aromatherapy and experiential treatments offer people with addiction issues a wide choice of therapies to help them in recovery.
Many of the techniques learned in holistic rehab such as deep breathing exercises, can become extremely effective tools to use to cope with triggers for substance abuse in recovery. Possibly the best aspect of holistic therapy is that all treatments are 100% natural, which for individuals who have been in the grips of chemical addiction for a prolonged period of time can particularly benefit from.