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Virtually all drug treatment programs include some elements of the 12-step model, in part because there is some evidence indicating it contributes to a successful pattern of abstinence over time, and in part because the program has been available for decades free of charge to any who choose to pursue it, self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions.
The 12-step model has its critics, and some people say the program does not work for them, often because they prefer a recovery program more in tune with their spiritual outlook or lack thereof. Others object to the requirement of total abstinence.
Still, thousands of meetings are held around the U.S. every day and the number of meetings continues to grow -- a sign that many people are finding something valuable in this program. Some studies have shown that regardless of motivation or participation, simple attendance at meetings once a week is a positive predictor of a person's ability to stay drug-free.