If you’re considering 12-step treatment after – or before – drug rehab but have been avoiding going to a meeting because you’re thinking it might be a waste of time, consider this: those who attend and continue to attend 12-step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) in addition to drug and alcohol addiction rehab programs are successful in their recovery. Why? Because 12-step treatment provides a number of benefits to those trying to beat drug and alcohol addiction. Here are 10 of those benefits:
- All 12-step meetings are about self-help. They don’t do it for you. They don’t convince you that a certain pill or diet will take care of your addiction issues. They introduce you to principles that will help you to prioritize your recovery every day, all on your own.
- Twelve-step meetings are a great complement to drug rehab. Though they do not provide psychotherapeutic treatment that you will find in a formal program, they do surround you with people who can support you as you work on your sobriety.
- Twelve-step meetings give you a place to vent since you can no longer find stress relief through drugs and alcohol.
- Twelve-step meetings help you make new friends and meet new people who are also living without abusing any illicit substances – unlike the old friends you spent time with before drug and alcohol rehab.
- When you choose a sponsor, you have a personal guide through recovery and someone to call when you feel tempted to get high or drink.
- While working the steps, you have the opportunity to take an honest look at the choices you made prior to treatment and how those choices affected other people. You also get the chance to make it up to those you hurt.
- Attending meetings allows you to hear the stories of others. It serves two purposes: letting you know that you’re not alone and, often, giving you tips on how to manage the rough spots in your own recovery that may tempt you to relapse.
- The availability of meetings and many different types of 12-step meetings means that you shouldn’t have a problem finding a meeting any day of the week. In metropolitan areas, you should be able to find a meeting almost any time of day – even the middle of the night and on holidays.
- Personal responsibility for actions, feelings and behaviors are a big focus during 12-step treatment. This is a great for those in recovery because too many ex-addicts and ex-alcoholics prefer to continue the “blaming behaviors” that characterized – and fueled – their active addiction.
- When you speak at a 12-step meeting, you have the option of total anonymity. You don’t have to share your personal information with anyone, so you can feel free to vent openly.
What benefits have you experienced in 12-step meetings?