Self-Help/12-Step Groups as Part of Recovery

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Are Twelve Step Programs Successful in Helping Addicts Recover?

Self-Help/12-Step Groups as Part of Recovery

Recovering from drug addiction is a grueling, often difficult and ultimately rewarding process. While the research regarding 12-step program success rates is limited, often due to the anonymity principle indicated in such programs, clinical evidence shows that the overall success rates are very high-given a willingness to practice new behaviors and an authentic desire to receive help.

Getting sober is the most difficult decision a person may every make, as it is a willingness to let go of the only "support network" you have come to know. Chances are that you have lost or are beginning to lose friends, jobs, family and, more importantly self-respect. This doesn't get better over time, only far worse.

The reason 12-step programs appear to be successful is because they offer a network of support where you will not find judgment for your mistakes/losses, but understanding. You will feel less lonely and isolated. Additionally, you will find people who will hold you accountable for your past behaviors and current behaviors, while continuing to treat you with respect. From a clinical perspective, such cohesiveness and installation of hope do give people the desire/openness to change.

That being said, 12-step programs do require action (not money, though) on the part of the recovering person. You must do something different in order to get different results. It is suggested that you pick up a copy of both the traditional Alcoholics Anonymous text ( The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous ) and the Narcotics Anonymous text (which was derived from the original). If you identify with any of the stories, suggestions in this book, then you will most likely benefit from 12-step programs.



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