What Is A 12-Step Program?
Somewhere in the 1930s, there was a man by the name Bill W. He was seeking withdrawal help from his severe alcohol dependency problem. After he became a member of the fellowship, he was able to achieve sobriety. However, there was another alcohol addict by the name of Dr. Bob S., who was not able to get over his alcohol addiction.
Things changed immensely when the two men met. They immediately bonded due to their mutual dependence on alcohol. This bond helped them support each other and become sober. This is how Alcoholics Anonymous came into existence.
AA is the origin of the concept of the 12-step program. It is a faith-based program that relies on 12 steps that are designed for healing and supporting the alcohol-dependent throughout the process, which is often referred to as recovery.
How Do 12-Step Programs Work?
Twelve steps of the program are designed around certain practices that are created for forcing the individual to gather self-knowledge and make conscious efforts to change thought and behavior patterns.
This is referred to by AA as “recovery.” They believe that one is never entirely “cured” of alcoholism. Instead, they think that the individual must continuously make efforts to maintain sobriety.
AA is a faith-based program that focuses on giving over oneself to a “higher power” or God. This does not mean that the program is inclined towards religion. They consider themselves as spiritual practitioners. Despite this, there are many ways in which people can approach this program by accepting what they need and ignoring the rest.
Most of the people who have experienced this program advise that the higher power is not necessarily referred to as God. It can be anything. It can be sobriety itself.
Let us now look at the benefits of 12 steps program
The Benefits of 12 steps program
It is with the help of group meetings that a person is guided through the 12 steps program that helps them fight their addictions. The following are the benefits of 12 steps program.
Admit powerlessness over addiction: People quite often are demotivated because they find themselves helpless in the face of addiction. However, the 12 steps program has a highly innovative approach. They make the people accept this powerlessness over addiction. This lays the foundation of the rest of the program, helping them deal with their addiction in a much more effective way.
Find hope through a higher power or higher goal: Their strong belief in more top God is what makes this program a highly spiritual practice. This helps to fight alcoholism not only by developing emotional restraint, but it changes their whole inner being. Therefore, people who walk out of this program develop a deep inner spiritual awareness, which helps them overcome their addictions.
Analyze the self and behaviors objectively: This program pushes the people to delve into intense introspection. This self-analysis helps them observe their actions objectively and understand themselves much better. This quite often leads most of them in figuring out the root cause of their addiction.
Share experiences with another person or the higher power: The sharing of their experiences with other people and higher power through prayers and meditation is a way of reinforcing their beliefs and strong emotions. This helps immensely in getting over addiction because it is by this sharing that a person can develop a healthy resolution.
Thorough Regular Practice: 12-step program follow a principle that a person never fully recovers from addiction. It is one constant life-long struggle. Therefore, people who walk out of this program show great dedication and sincerity in following their practices in their routine life as well. This is an essential benefit that helps people change their inner mechanism completely.
Meditate for the continued ability to recover: We know how spiritually is deeply rooted in the 12-step program. And meditation plays a vital role in creating a keen spiritual awareness. This lays a deep foundation helping people develop stronger coping mechanisms. Hence, meditation has been highly stressed in the program because it is the only way a person can bring about natural changes in his body and develop a continuous ability to fight and live a better life.
Note down a list of the wrong behavior and thought patterns: This program focuses not only on the addiction but on a broader scope of things that causes addiction as a by-effect. The spiritual practices involved in this program help people identify their behaviors much better. By listing down disturbed thought patterns, people can create a mental map and understand themselves better.
As we have seen how the 12-step program focuses on a much broader scheme of spirituality, it helps people fight addiction in the most natural way possible. People coming out of the program develop a healthy coping mechanism and a much better spiritual awareness.