Addiction recovery is comprehensive, meaning that no one thing will keep you sober for any extended period. Some individuals believe that staying sober will rely exclusively on 12 step involvement, or exclusively on overcoming unresolved trauma, or exclusively on receiving medication for a previously untreated mental health condition. In reality, maintaining sobriety will depend heavily on all of these factors – and many more.
The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous were developed in the mid-1930s as a means of overcoming alcoholism and healing along with like-minded men (men and women, nowadays, though when AA was first developed it was believed that alcoholism was exclusively a “man’s problem.”) This program is based on a set of spiritual principles which serve as guidelines for recovery and a set of steps that are meant to be actively worked through during the early recovery process.
At Recreate Life Counseling, we require every one of our clients to become involved in a 12-step program of his or her choosing. This could be AA, Narcotics Anonymous, or another 12-step program that best suits his or her individualistic needs and requirements. We mandate 12 step involvement because we believe that the program of Alcoholics Anonymous works. We believe this because we have seen it work, not just in the lives of our clients, but in the lives of many of our support staff members. Many of our licensed therapists and addiction specialists have decades of recovery under their belts.
Do the 12 Steps Keep You Sober?
There is a significant difference between going to meetings and working the steps. You can go to a 12-step meeting every day, sit in the back of the room on your cell phone, and still relapse within several weeks. You can even go to meetings every day, sit in the front of the room, and actively engage and still relapse within several weeks. So then, what is the trick? The trick to staying sober is working the steps. Of course, the only requirement to join AA is a desire to stop drinking – nowhere does the literature say that you must work through the steps to remain a part of the program. However, it is strongly encouraged and highly recommended. A very high percentage of those who have stayed sober for an extended period have done so because they worked through the steps very early on in their recovery.
If you have had a difficult time staying sober, it may be because you have not fully submerged yourself in a 12-step program. One of the major distinctions between programs that work and treatment programs that fail is the priority the treatment center puts on working through the 12 steps.
Recreate Life Counseling and 12 Step Immersion
At Recreate Life Counseling, 12 step immersion is a major component of our integrated and comprehensive addiction recovery program. However, it is important to remember that while working through the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous plays a major role in keeping people sober, it is important that you are actively covering all of your bases. This means remaining in therapy if you are still working through emotional issues or unresolved trauma, practicing relapse prevention techniques daily, and generally working towards comprehensive self-betterment.
At Recreate Life Counseling, our main priority is equipping men and women with the tools they need to stay sober for years to come. To learn more about our recovery program, feel free to give us a call today – we look forward to speaking with you soon and getting you started on your journey of addiction recovery.