Addiction has been posing a threat to global health for ages. Nearly every community in the world faces some substance abuse problem. Drugs such as alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, marijuana, and other hallucinogens are included in substance abuse. These drugs are often taken recreationally; hence, taking these drugs is rarely a cause of concern. However, you never know when you become dependent on them. This dependency can quickly become a major health issue for you.
Addiction statistics in America look quite grim. From adolescence to old age, people from all age groups face addiction. According to National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS), 60.2% of Americans over 12 are drug abusers, mainly tobacco and alcohol. 70% of people who suffer from drug abuse tried an illegal drug before turning 13. In the US, 70,000 people die due to drug overdose every year.
If you are suffering from addiction, it is never too late to seek help. The traditional rehabilitation procedure includes a safe and secure environment where you undergo detox and therapy sessions to avoid relapse. Although rehabilitation is enough to break free from addiction, it doesn’t hurt to try out different programs on the side.
If you are looking for additional programs to break free from the cycle of addiction, have a look at the 12 step program.
The 12 Step Program
Developed by a group known as Alcoholics Anonymous, it was created for alcohol rehab. Alcoholics Anonymous was a religious group in the 20th Century and focused on spiritual therapy to overcome alcohol addiction. With time and success, this program gained popularity among addicts who suffer from substance abuse.
The original scripture of this program as used by Alcoholics Anonymous is as follows:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- We decided to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- We admitted to God, ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to injure them or others.
- We continued to take personal inventory and promptly admitted it when we were wrong.
- We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- We’ve had a spiritual awakening due to these steps, and we tried to carry this message to alcoholics as we practice these principles in all our affairs.
There are no membership requirements to join the 12 step process. It is an open program and consists of people who have experienced going through the addiction recovery process.
As an addict, when you enter the program, you first choose a sponsor. It can be anyone from the group who has extensive knowledge of the normal proceedings of the group. They will guide you through the process.
Steps 1 to 3 are of acknowledgment. You admit that you have a problem and cannot get over it without divine help. You recognize the almighty power of The Creator and His authority over your condition.
During steps 4 to 7, you assess yourself and your moral values. You identify your moral shortcomings and ask for The Divine Power to help you make amends to yourself.
Steps 8 to 10 make us realize how many people are affected by our addiction. We unconsciously hurt our family and friends through our bad behavior and unhealthy habits. Now is the time to apologize to them and make amends wherever possible.
Steps 11 and 12 are the final steps of the program and are usually practiced for life to avoid relapse. They allow you to strengthen your relationship with God and promote spiritual growth. These steps also encourage you to work with others and help them overcome addiction like your sponsors once helped you.
The Impact of 12 Step Program
There is no evaluation system for this program, so tracking the success was not easy. The only indication of its success was the popularity it gained over time. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 74% of treatment centers used the 12 Step Program as part of their rehabilitation procedure.
Even though the 12 Step Program was originally started by a religious group and has many steps that involve seeking help from a power greater than you, you don’t have to be religious to follow it. You can take it as spiritual healing to find inner peace and control your addiction. This process doesn’t end when you finally become sober.
It would be best if you kept going through the steps to re-evaluate yourself at different points in your life and avoid relapse. Since there is no supervisor and no attendance is necessary, you need strong discipline and willpower to power through the steps, even when you feel like you can’t continue. Remember how far you have already come and how much effort it took. After all, if you gained sobriety through the process once, you are strong enough to keep the temptation at bay.