Choosing a suitable drug rehab facility can be a frustrating and confusing process. At Just One Recovery, our work is to make this process easier for you and your loved one by providing a solution to an addiction problem. We serve residents of Orange County, California with addiction treatment programs such as detox, outpatient, individual therapy and residential treatment programs.

What is a Twelve Step Program?

As a set of guiding principles, a 12-step program outlines causes of action for recovery from behavioral problems including addiction and compulsion. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), A mutual aid fellowship for alcoholics, proposed this program for people recovering from alcoholism. This method has been adapted and used to establish other twelve-step programs.

According to the American Psychological Association, a professional and scientific association for psychologists in the US, the process should involve:

  • Admitting that you cannot control your addiction, alcoholism or compulsion
  • Recognizing that there’s a higher power that can give you strength
  • Examining your previous mistakes with the help of an experienced member
  • Making amends for your past mistakes
  • Learning to lead a new life by embracing a new behavior code
  • Helping other people suffering from the same alcoholism, addiction or compulsions as yours

What are the Original Twelve Steps in the 12-Step Program?

The principles of the 12-step program help guide people recovering from addiction or alcoholism. They emphasize recovery by giving you lessons you can relate and embrace in your day-to-day life. The original twelve steps are as follows:

  1. We admit that we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives have become unmanageable
  2. We reached a belief that there’s a greater power than ourselves that can restore us to sanity
  3. We have Decided to turn our will and lives over to God’s care as we understood Him
  4. Made a fearless moral inventory and searching for ourselves
  5. Admitted to God, to other human beings and to ourselves about the actual nature of our wrongdoings
  6. We’re more than ready to have God remove all these character defects
  7. We humbly asked God to do away with our shortcomings
  8. Listed down everyone we’ve harmed and are willing to make amends to all of them
  9. Made direct amends to people, we've harmed wherever possible and avoided doing so if the amends would hurt them or others
  10. Continued taking a personal inventory when we made a mistake and promptly admitted to making it
  11. Sought to strengthen our conscious contact with God through meditation and prayer since we understood him and prayed for His will and the power to carry out His will for us
  12. We tried carrying this message to other alcoholics and practicing these principles in our daily lives after gaining a spiritual awakening from these steps

What Does the 12-Step Program Entail?

The 12-step program symbolically represents the human structure in physical, spiritual and mental dimensions. Problems that the groups are dealing with manifest themselves in each of these dimensions. For alcoholics and addicts, the physical aspect can manifest itself in the form of allergy-like bodily reactions caused by the continued use of substances. In reference to the first step, being "powerless" over a behavior related to substance abuse may refer to lacking control over an addiction or alcoholism problem.

The mental dimension can be explained as the set of cognitive processes causing you to repeat a compulsive behavior after trying to abstain for a while. You may repeat a compulsive behavior by either being delusional that the result will be different or knowing that you'll be unable to stop the behavior at the end of it all. The first step in the original 12-step program mentions the term "unmanageable." In this context, the term refers to the lack of choice your mind affords regarding whether to use a substance or drink again.

Being self-centered while battling with a substance use problem can help bring out the spiritual dimension of the 12-step program. As you work through the twelve steps, your self-centeredness will be replaced by a willingness and consciousness for unselfish constructive action and self-sacrifice. Such a procedure is referred to as spiritual awakening. You'll only get to be spiritually awakened after admitting the problem you're recovering from and slowly following the steps needed to solve it.

What Does the 12-Step Program Encourage You to Practice?

The twelve steps encourage you to practice confidentiality while respecting other people's privacy. Though there are no legal consequences for disclosing information shared during the 12-step meetings, you have to keep everything you hear to yourself. Professionals who will refer you to the meetings are also supposed to notify before sharing your personal story with anyone. The 12-step program also encourages a sense of responsibility and awareness of actions that may make you relapse or crave for drugs or alcohol.

Why Would You Need an Experienced Person in the 12-Step Program?

Also referred to as a sponsor, an experienced person in recovery is needed to guide you (the less-experienced sponsee/aspirant) through the 12-step program. When you sign up for the program, expect to be encouraged to establish a strong relationship with at least one experienced person who has undergone the program and has a sponsor. Sponsorship, in this case, takes the form of a one-on-one nonhierarchical relationship focused on helping you share experiences and work the twelve steps.

Sponsors' roles involve sharing their experience, hope, and strength with their respective sponsee. You should not confuse your sponsor's role with that of a marriage counselor, parent, social worker or legal adviser. Consider this individual as a therapist known to offer you professional advice that's useful to your recovery. Remember that the sponsor is also an addict in the treatment facility/program you're enrolled.

Together with your sponsor, you’ll be participating in activities focused on spiritual growth. Outgoing members in the 12-step program usually share their experiences with incoming members. You may also expect to share yours under this rotation of experience for a great spiritual reward. Once you complete the program, you’ll be regarded as competent and fit to guide newcomers.

What Should You Expect to Share With Your Sponsor?

As a sponsee, you're required to complete the fifth step of the 12-step program with your sponsor. The step involves admitting to God, yourself and other human beings (including your sponsor) about the actual nature of your wrongdoings. It would help if you admitted the wrongdoings after making a fearless moral inventory and searching for yourself as highlighted in the fourth step of the 12-step program. Admitting your wrong-doings and making direct amends to people you've harmed can help redeem and purify you, relieve you from your burden of wrongdoings, liberate you and promise salvation to you.

How Does Sponsorship Help You as a Newcomer?

Sponsorship assures you that there is one individual that understands and wholeheartedly cares about your situation. You are guaranteed of having one person to speak to (without being embarrassed) when you have problems, questions or doubts regarding drug or alcohol use. Sponsorship gives you a sympathetic and understanding friend when you need one the most and a bridge that can enable you to meet other people battling substance use disorders.

How is a Sponsor Chosen?

Just like other aspects in a 12-step program, the process of matching you with a potential sponsor is informal. Your responsibility is to approach a member (who seems experienced and compatible with your situation) and ask that member to act as your sponsor. Most individuals enrolled in the program will be grateful and happy to receive your request. It would also be best if you seek a sponsor who has proven to be embracing the 12-step ideology in his/her daily life.

Should Your Sponsor Share Similarities with You?

You are likely to feel at ease the most with a sponsor who shares your interests and background. In the context of a 12-step program, some of the things you may share with the sponsor include ambition to live a substance-free life and recover from substance abuse. You have the freedom of choosing whoever suits your preferences.

As much as you want the sponsor to assist you with the program, you don’t have to agree with everything he/she says. You can seek clarifications if the shared ideas sound unclear or strange. The sponsor’s role is to establish an open relationship that allows both of you to honestly and freely talk with each other. You are always free to choose another individual with whom you feel more comfortable especially when you believe that he/she can be helpful to your growth in the 12-step program.

When are You Considered Ready for Sponsorship Responsibility?

The goal of the 12-step program is to carry the message of substance use reform not only to the existing users but also to other people who are still suffering. After going through the 12 steps and embracing the 12-step ideology, you may be deemed fit to share your hope, strength, and experience with others. You'll be ready to assume sponsorship responsibility if you have been in the 12-step program long enough to understand everything that's outlined in the twelve steps.

How Effective is the 12-Step Program?

Joining a 12-step self-help group (also known as a support or mutual help group) is an essential aspect of your informal care if you're battling a substance use disorder (SUD). As a SUD treatment provider, Just One Recovery adopted 12-step techniques to improve your chances of recovery and reduce the need for seeking further professional care. Our self-help groups promise to offer you exposure to abstinence models, continued support and a safe forum for expressing your feelings.

Outcomes for Participating in 12-Step Self-help Groups

Participating in a 12-step SHG can help you experience better drug and alcohol use outcomes than a person who doesn't take part in these groups. You're likely to maintain your abstinence from drugs or alcohol after attending an SHG in the first three months after treatment of a substance use disorder. Your recovery will also be improved if you make a 6-month or 12-month follow-up.

Though attendance is an essential indicator of participation in SHGs, it doesn’t sufficiently reflect your level of involvement in the 12-step program. Your recovery depends on how much you’re involved with the group you joined. Involvement, in this context, entails accepting the 12-step ideology and ensuring that you attend the meeting at least every week. You should be eager to embrace the 12-step ideology for you to benefit from it.

What Forms the Outcomes of a 12-Step Program?

The outcomes of a 12-step program are mainly centered on four factors. They include:

  • Structure, goal direction, and support that emphasizes the importance of strong bonds with family, friends religion and work and abstinence
  • Participation in social activities that are substance-free
  • Identification with a consistent belief system and abstinence-oriented role models that encourage you to live a substance-free lifestyle
  • Emphasis on fostering your coping skills and self-efficacy and helping others around you to overcome their substance use problems

12-step self-help groups are an excellent source for general and abstinence-specific support since they're useful in fighting the influence of substance use. They allow you to benefit from monitoring, goal direction and guidance offered through the modeling of ideas on how to avoid relapses, substance use refusal skills and expert/practical advice on how to stay sober. Attending them may increase your commitment to abstinence and satisfaction from helping other people battling SUDs.

What is the Connection Between the 12-step Program and Substance Use Disorder Treatment?

You can participate in a SUD treatment, and 12-step program since both of them bolster or strengthen each other. Note that enrolling in a SUD treatment facility allows you to seek SUD treatment and benefit from a 12-step program. Throughout your treatment, you’ll be introduced to a 12-step philosophy and encouraged to join a self-help group and get a sponsor. The 12-step ideology is used to supplement other forms of treatment you’ll be receiving in an addiction recovery center.

Participating in both treatment and SHGs can help you experience benefits that augment each other. When compared to a patient seeking only treatment from a residential care facility, you’re likely to abstain from drugs or alcohol for a long time. Seeking treatment can strengthen your affiliation with a self-help group and improve your overall recovery.

Are There Any Limits for Participating in SHGs?

One concern that SUD patients usually have is whether there's are limitations for participating in SHGs. The truth is that personal factors including psychiatric disorders, spiritual orientation, and impairments related to substance use may affect SHG outcomes. Our experts at Just One Recovery can assess your situation and determine what sort of treatment is ideal for your substance use disorder.

  1. Psychiatric Disorders

Majority of the patients battling substance use disorders have recurring psychiatric disorders. Provided that these disorders aren't psychotic, such patients are more likely to attend 12-step self-help groups than those suffering from only SUDs. The same applies to patients suffering from a combination of posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and SUDs. Depressed ones may have difficulties establishing relationships with their group members and acquiring sponsors for the 12-step program.

  1. Impairment Related to Substance Use

Having a higher dependency on drugs and more substance use-related problems may increase your likelihood of being affiliated with an SHG. More impaired patients have high chances of continuing to attend SHGs and lesser chances of dropping out after treatment is administered. However, this doesn't imply that you're likely to skip sessions or drop out of a 12-step program if you have lesser substance use-related problems. Your outcomes depend on your general mindset and willingness to embrace the 12-step program.

  1. Spiritual Orientation

The 12-step ideology majorly focuses on a spiritual orientation, which can impact positive outcomes to your life when embraced. Believing in this ideology can help you become more involved in your self-help group and minimize your chances of dropping out of the program. Since 12-step SHGs put more emphasis on spirituality, there have been speculations that less spiritually-inclined or less religious people may benefit less from participating in SHGs. On the contrary, your likelihood of benefiting from an SHG depends on your openness to embracing a new spiritual orientation rather than your existing spiritual orientation.

Can Your Family Members and Friends Attend the Self-help Groups Too?

Some self-help groups cater to not only the needs of a SUD patient but also to the patient's family members and friends. Such groups try to help family members and friends who have been affected by your substance use disorder. They offer guidance and support to your loved ones while teaching them new coping skills and exposing them to models on how to handle your SUD. Besides participating in the SHGs, your friends and family members may encourage you to sign up for them or attend them regularly for more significant outcomes.

Join a Drug Rehab Center Near Me

The 12-step program is among the treatment options that will guide and assist you with issues that are essential to maintaining your recovery plan. Our work at Just One Recovery involves embracing an integrated treatment approach that uses various techniques including the 12-step model. Our relapse prevention training, intrapersonal and interpersonal skill development and counseling services are customized for the residents of the Orange County area. Call our Orange County drug rehab at 714-538-8085 today to speak with our staff about our treatment programs.