12 Steps and 12-Step Alternatives

We offer both 12-step groups and 12-step alternatives as part of our personalized approach to mental health and drug rehab. Clients are introduced to both types of groups and can choose which approach most resonates with them.

12 Steps

The first of the mutual help groups, the 12 Steps started in 1939 with Alcoholics Anonymous. Since that time a number of 12-step groups have emerged. Some of these include:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
  • Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
  • Codependents Anonymous (CoDA)
  • Gamblers Anonymous (GA)
  • Overeaters Anonymous (OA)
  • Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
  • Al-Anon and Nar-Anon (groups for family members of addicted people)

Based on “Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism,” or “The Big Book,” the 12 Steps to sobriety are based on the following principles:

  • Admitting powerlessness over substance abuse and other compulsive behaviors
  • Asking for forgiveness and strength from a higher power
  • Working with a sponsor (another member who’s been in recovery longer)
  • Identifying and making amends for past mistakes
  • Adopting a new, sober lifestyle based on the 12-step principles
  • Giving back by helping others

Though 12-step groups are widely known for their focus on a higher power, people with all types of beliefs have adapted the teachings to fit their needs.

12-Step Alternatives

Non 12-step groups like SMART Recovery® are for people who don’t relate to the 12 Steps but still understand the need for a peer-based recovery group. Established in the early 1990s, SMART Recovery takes a more secular approach to sobriety, draws heavily on self-empowerment, and evolves with scientific research on addiction and behavioral health issues. While abstinence is still the goal, SMART Recovery makes room for people wherever they are on their path to sobriety and self-improvement.

Instead of moving through steps, SMART Recovery meetings, readings and exercises are based on four points:

1) Building and maintaining motivation
2) Coping with urges
3) Managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors
4) Living a balanced life

SMART Recovery draws on research-based approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy, rational emotive therapy, the stages of change model, acceptance and commitment therapy, and motivational interviewing.

Benefits of Support Groups

Whether you prefer a 12-step or non-12-step approach, regularly attending a peer-based support group can strengthen your recovery. In fact, recent research shows that 12-step programs like AA and 12-step alternatives like SMART Recovery have very similar success rates.

Some benefits of support groups include:

  • Connection with people sharing similar struggles and achievements
  • Motivation and inspiration through group teachings and others’ stories
  • Help addressing triggers
  • A safe, supportive space to share openly and honestly
  • Accountability in recovery
  • Getting different perspectives on problems
  • Preventing feelings of isolation in recovery
  • Gaining insight into issues by sharing and hearing from others

Recovery Is in Reach

Call us today to learn more about our program and treatment approaches.

To learn more about 12 Steps and 12-Step Alternatives, call 844-876-5568

Contact Promises Today for a Confidential Assessment.
Call 844-876-5568 or fill out the form below.