12-Steps Series, Part IV: Do You Have to Go to 12-Step Meetings to Succeed in Sobriety?
In the last of our posts in a series exploring the value of 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, we are taking a look at whether or not it is a necessity to attend support group meetings and work the steps in order to be successful in sobriety. Can you do well in recovery and avoid relapse without attending 12-step meetings? Does taking part in 12-step groups guarantee that you will stay clean and sober?
Attending 12-Step Meetings Without Drug Rehab
It is not recommended that you attempt to go to 12-step meetings as a replacement for attending a well-rounded drug addiction treatment program. Without medical attention for underlying or co-occurring issues and psychological help in the form of personal therapy as well as the opportunity to focus completely on progress in recovery through alternative and holistic healing therapies, you are setting yourself up for failure. People often develop a dependence upon drugs and alcohol because they use the substances to attempt to self-medicate trauma, co-occurring mental health disorders, and other issues. Without addressing those issues effectively, it’s almost impossible to stay sober for the long-term – and despite all the benefits offered by 12-step meetings, it is not therapy or addiction treatment.
Incorporating 12-Step Ideology Into Drug Addiction Treatment
This is ideal and allows patients to learn how to function within the constructs of a 12-step group while having the round-the-clock support that comes with intensive addiction treatment. You may even have a sponsor, work the steps, and utilize a number of the tools that are offered by AA while progressing in your personal therapy sessions and holistic and alternative healing treatments.
Continuing 12-Step Meetings as Part of an Aftercare Program
When you leave treatment, 12-steps can help you to bridge the gap between the 24-hour support and care provided by an addiction treatment center and the constant temptations and access to drugs and alcohol that assault you when you return home. The ability to go to a 12-step meeting just as you did in treatment can be an immense comfort and help you to remain focused on your goals for yourself in recovery as you begin the process of starting over.
If you would like to learn more about the drug addiction treatment programs that we offer for women here at The Orchid, our counselors are standing by at the phone number listed above.