Common Reasons That 12-Step Addiction Recovery Programs May Not Work

While 12-Step addiction programs remain one of the most popular options for Americans struggling with addiction, reports over recent have revealed that this treatment plan does not work for everyone. In fact, some statistics have shown that popular models—such as AA—only offer recovery rates as small as five percent.

12-Step programs may work for some individuals struggling with drug or alcohol dependence, but for those who have relapsed after pursuing this treatment option should understand that there are alternative recovery plans out there. Instead of letting failure of a 12-Step system riddle you with fear of future addiction or shame caused by relapse, we invite you to look at some of the common reasons this programs do not work for all recovering addicts:

  • Built on Religious Principles

Faith-based addiction recovery is a common path of treatment for those who have a strong connection to their religion, most often a sect of Christianity. In these cases, faith-based 12-Step programs may inspire individuals to reclaim their faith and find motivation to stay sober. However, those who do not adhere to religious principles may not find that faith-based recovery is really that inspiring. Given that addiction in America is as diverse as the American population, it is important for individuals to have access to treatment options that do not revolve around religious beliefs.

  • Lack of Mental Health and Medical Components

12-Step programs will typically focus on the individual and how personal decisions have contributed to substance use disorder problems. While there may be some “choice” involved in substance use disorder, addiction challenges are often encouraged or compounded by pre-existing mental health conditions or other medical problems.

Individuals, who face these challenges in addition to addiction, tend to respond better under dual diagnosis treatment methods that afford attention to every aspect of substance use disorder. As such, if you struggle from depression, PTSD, stress, anxiety or another mental health issue, it is important to consider a treatment method that involves medical assistance.

  • Relapse During 12-Step Addiction Recovery Can Breed Guilt

Those who commit to sobriety through 12-Step programs often follow a path that encourages them to take responsibility for one’s actions. While taking personal responsibility over addiction can be an important step of recovery, individuals who face relapse troubles may feel shame or guilt if they fail to work the “steps” properly.

These feelings may encourage some 12-Step followers to be afraid of seeking outside support for relapse or consider other reasons why they may still be struggling with addiction. Flexible treatment, on the other hand, allows individuals to recognize that relapse is not always a failure—it could just mean that another approach needs to be taken to achieve sobriety.

12-Step of Non-12-Step at Chapters Capistrano

If you are unsure of what treatment approach for your addiction recovery plan is right for you, but you know you want to see help, it is important to rely on a trustworthy rehabilitation center that offers flexibility. Chapters Capistrano understands the need for customization on the path to sobriety, which is why our facility offers both 12-Step and non-12-step solutions to help with addiction recovery.

To learn more about these options or how to start your journey to recovery, contact Chapters Capistrano as soon as possible at 949-276-2886.

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Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance use disorder, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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