Three Reasons to Try a 12-Step Recovery Program
When struggling with addiction, a person can feel as though they’re stuck at the bottom of a pit with no way to climb out, but that despair is only an illusion. While certainly not easy to achieve, recovery is always possible, and as our understanding of addiction has grown, so too have we discovered and refined many different ways to treat it. Today there are many options for those seeking a peer recovery group including groups such as SMART Recovery and Secular Organizations for Sobriety, but one peer support group has stood the test of time since its founding in 1935: Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous was the first peer support group of its kind and became the model for what is today known as the 12-step recovery program. The 12-step recovery program has since proliferated to cover many different kinds of addiction, and while there are many different styles of peer support groups today, 12-step recovery programs continue to help people take back control of their lives and recover from addiction. Here are three reasons to consider a program like AA.
Proven Track Record
Since the first AA group was founded in Akron, Ohio in 1935, the 12-step recovery program has helped millions of people recover from addiction and lead a healthy, sober life. 12-step recovery programs continue to be a very valuable asset in helping communities combat substance abuse; today, AA alone has a total membership of over 2 million people worldwide. A recent study published in Oxford’s esteemed Alcohol and Alcoholism journal found that AA performed as well as other common outpatient treatments including cognitive behavioral therapy on all outcomes, and even exceeded other common treatments in their rate of continuous abstinence (abstinence without relapse). The wide availability of AA programs combined with their continued efficacy makes them a great choice for many people seeking treatment for addiction.
While traditional therapy is great for helping to treat addiction, it can be both wildly expensive, and very difficult to find a therapist, especially in rural areas, making therapy inaccessible to many. 12-step recovery programs and other peer support groups are generally free to attend and are funded through voluntary donations. With efficacy on par with other outpatient treatments and a low cost, 12-step recovery programs are an ideal option for many.
An inherent value of 12-step recovery programs and peer support groups like it are the social support and community they provide to their members. Addiction can be an isolating experience for those it affects, and loneliness and social isolation can be a strong motivator of addictive behaviors. A strong web of social support is a vital component of recovery, and 12-step recovery groups provide a community of people who deal with similar struggles, and who can understand, empathize, and find strength in each other. 12-step recovery programs have helped millions of addicts connect with one another and help each other navigate the difficult road to recovery, and they can help you as well. To learn more about 12-step recovery programs, click here.
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