A Few Things to Know About 12 Step Programs for Substance Use Disorder

by | Sep 29, 2022

Having an addiction does not make someone weak or a failure. In fact, those dealing with Substance Use Disorder need support to heal from this chronic disease. Strength and understanding in community are key for recovery.

Luckily, there is hope for people who may be struggling with addiction! The 12 Steps are an initiative that can help people with addiction effectively treat their condition. We’ll talk more about this program in this blog.

What is the 12 Step curriculum?

The 12 Step program was founded by AA, also known as Alcoholics Anonymous. While the 12 Step curriculum was initially formed to help people with alcohol dependence, there are other 12 Step programs that help people deal with a range of addictions, including food, narcotics, sex, and gambling – as well as programs that provide support for family members.

Through a set of 12 individual principles, the 12 Step curriculum helps people with alcoholism and/or drug addiction cope with their impulse to use drugs and alcohol. By following the 12 steps it is possible to lead an addiction-free life and stay sober!

How does the 12 Step program work?

The 12 Step curriculum does differ from program to program, but at its core, the aim remains the same. Those with addictions should be willing to follow 12 steps to treat their addiction and change their perspective on life if they so desire.

When AA created the 12 Step program, faith was a large component of recovery. Now, many 12 Step programs have adapted these steps for people that are non-religious so they can feel included. The Steps are designed for all walks of faith, religion, spirituality, anti-religion, agnostic and even atheist beliefs. 

In terms of how this program works, people meet in a group setting and discuss the 12 Step principles in detail. As you go through the 12 Steps, individuals admit they have a problem and admit they need help. Then, they get the chance to look inward and do a “personal house cleaning.” Once this has occurred, they are now able to make amends for the issues they may have caused in the past. After this portion has been thoroughly achieved, the person starts to feel a sense of freedom from within. The most important part is the 12th step passing on the solution to newcomers. Through the group setting, it’s easier to find support and be honest with yourself about your addiction problem. 

Why is this program unique and beneficial?

Most programs are “self-help” oriented. The 12 Steps help people to heal, but the real focus is passing it on to others who are seeking help. This is one component that separates the 12 Steps from most self-help modalities.

Another component is the focus on group recovery, which also sets the 12 Steps apart from other programs. Individuals are able to heal with a community of people that share their struggle and offer solutions to that struggle through experience. Participants are supported every step of the way by a group of individuals that truly care about their recovery, like those found at Zia Recovery Center.

In addition, the 12 Steps are known for their focus on spirituality and mentorship. Those in a 12 Step program don’t have to deal with addiction alone. Some of the best healing conversations happen after the meetings when members go for coffee or food and have fellowship with one another. The program offers sponsors, who are people that have been sober for an extended amount of time and have worked through all 12 steps. They help guide individuals through the program and keep them accountable. 

Is the 12 Step curriculum right for me or my loved one?

People who want a community-based support system and a structured approach to addiction recovery will benefit from the 12 Step curriculum. Some programs are more religious than others – which is neither good nor bad – it’s just a matter of choosing a 12 Step program that suits your specific needs. Again, this is a great resource for people in recovery! When considering different programs and treatment options, experts, such as those at Zia Recovery Center, can help you or a loved one make an informed decision. The holistic program at Zia Recovery Center is a very robust curriculum that incorporates the 12 Steps into the program.

What happens if I or a loved one relapse?

If you relapse, or someone you know relapses, don’t panic. The best thing you can do is go back to your 12 Step program for help. If you are currently in a program, be honest with your group. Don’t hide your relapse and talk to your sponsor. Oftentimes, a relapse is a part of the recovery process.

If you feel like you can’t stop your addiction, consider getting professional help. This could include a recovery center, such as Zia Recovery Center, or contacting a mental health professional.

How is one successful in a 12 Step program?

Being successful in 12 Step program can be difficult at first. However, if you remain committed to recovery and are honest about your addiction problems, you will succeed. Be open and willing to change your behaviors, and don’t push away your support system. The people in your 12 Step program want to help you, but you must be willing to accept that help and take ACTION!

Recovery is a Possibility!

You can heal from your addiction if you are willing to make a change in your life. By participating in the 12 Step curriculum, you don’t have to suffer through your addiction alone. These programs are here to offer support and guidance to anyone that needs help!

At Zia Recover Center, we offer clients the opportunity to work with our trained and compassionate staff on individualized treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Our Program curriculum is a seven-month holistic and systematic program which incorporates the 12 Steps as well as many other evidence-based practices to equip clients with as many tools as they need for their recovery journey.

Zia Recovery Center is located at 303 N Alameda Blvd in Las Cruces, NM. Call us at 575-523-0111.