The 12 step recovery program is one of the most famous support systems for alcoholics and individuals with substance abuse problems, amongst other things. A forum that started as a support system for alcoholics has now expanded to include various types of addictions, including, but not limited to, drug addictions.
Identifying your problem
The 12 step recovery program works so well because it helps addicts accept their problems, the first step of the program is identification and acceptance of the fact that you have a problem. This program works so well because it consists of a group of people who have the same problem as you do, seeing a diverse group of people going through the same problems helps you identify your own problem.
You meet a diverse group of people
Recovering from an addiction is a difficult journey, and you need all the help you can get. Getting support from people who are going through the same ordeal is easier. It is easier to ask for help from people who understand your problems first hand.
Believing in yourself
New research has shown that addiction is a disease, just like heart disease or diabetes, but in our society addicts are still blamed for their addictions, and therefore they blame themselves for it too! Having a support group helps you realize that you are not helpless, and that you can recover by sheer power of will.
Learning from other people’s stories and techniques
A 12 step recovery group is all about sharing. People tell their stories and share their insights. They let complete strangers look into their deepest fear and their cripplinging weaknesses. This sharing enables the group members to bond and learn from each others technique. When you have an overwhelming urge to use, you can use other people’s coping techniques to suppress the urge and continue on your path of recovery. In these groups you will also meet people who have lives outside of their substance abuse issues, these people reinforce your belief in the importance of recovery for your addiction.
You have a safe place to go where you won’t be judged
Most addicts have difficulty baring their souls or showing their emotions because they believe nobody would understand them, or people would judge them. Being a part of the 12 step recovery group enables you to share your feelings without the fear of being judged. Since the group is anonymous it ensures the protection of your privacy. The group also gives you a safe place to go to in case you have had a bad day or have an urge to use.
You are constantly reminded of the consequences of using again
After being the program for 6 to 12 months you may begin to feel that you are not an addict now, and that you can control the use of the drug, and you may want to go back to trying the drug. The 12 step program reminds you that this is a bad idea; once an addict, always an addict. Meeting people who have come to the group for the first time and people who have repeatedly relapsed enables you to see that you can relapse and that the recovery process is as difficult as before.