Can you Really Complete Alcohol Rehab without 12 Step Support?
There are many reasons that people resist participating in 12 step groups. The most common is a dislike of the model’s reliance on the concept of a higher power. Despite the fact that this aspect of the steps can be adjusted to reflect any faith and even the absence of it, many people feel it is too closely tied to Christian sensibility and they reject that. Others don’t like sharing fellowship with other addicts and prefer dealing strictly with professionals: therapists and doctors. Still others object to the steps themselves.
Whatever the reason, there are people who will not join Alcoholics Anonymous or another 12 step program. These people may find themselves wondering if they have the same chance at recovery as those who do work the 12 steps.
It is perfectly possible to complete alcohol rehab without participating in a 12 step group and your recovery can be a success. However, the 12 step model does have benefits to recommend it, so you may want to consider partaking.
The following discussion will explain how to work rehab without 12 step participation and take time to show that there are things to recommend the model just in case you are willing to give it a second thought.
For more information about alcohol rehab and how to make the most of it, call 800-481-6320Who Answers?. Our experts can answer all of your questions and make every part of the process easy to understand.
Are There Rehab Programs That Don’t Include the 12 Steps?
Yes. These non-traditional rehab programs are among the countless options available to recovering alcoholics. A 12 step focused program typically treats the alcohol dependence as the primary problem to be overcome and concentrates on addressing that issue alone. However, a non-12 step program focuses on both the dependence and the issues that contribute to it.
How Are Non-12 Step Programs Different?
Firstly, in the absence of a higher power component, participants must themselves take up responsibility for their recovery. The program focuses on empowering the patient to make the changes they wish to see in their lives.
In addition, without the rigidity of the 12 step model, a rehab program can get quite individualized in its treatment offerings. If a patient, for example, isn’t moving at the pace that their peers are, the program can adjust for them. Non-12 step programs tend to reject a one-size-fits-all approach.
A 12 step program will require participants to serve others through their model. Without that model, alcohol rehab programs tend to emphasize how much patients have to give—in general—to their communities, friends, family, and co-workers. They are motivated to give back in the ways that work for them, rather than through the 12 step program.
Can I Recover Without Attending 12 Step Meetings?
Absolutely. One of the largest and most cited studies to support the role of Alcoholics Anonymous is called Project MATCH, and it was published in 1998. The study compared three kinds of treatment:
- 12 step facilitation therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: focused on learning skills to disrupt negative behaviors, like drinking
- Motivational enhancement therapy: focused on discovering and crafting motivation to achieve and maintain sobriety
Researchers determined there were few differences in the outcomes demonstrated by participants in these programs. Essentially, a person in cognitive behavioral therapy had the same chance of success as one in a 12 step group and the reverse is true, as well.
A 12 step program does not provide alcohol rehab patients with a better chance at recovery success than other rehab approaches.
Am I Missing Out on Anything by Avoiding a 12 Step Approach?
A 12 Step approach is often the only approach that specifically encourages you to get help from other addicts, and many people respond positively to that fellowship and to the “addicts helping addicts” dynamic. In addition, the steps are very simple and straightforward and may be appealing to people who object to the introspection of therapy or the seemingly fluid lessons that come from responding to a therapist’s feedback.
And, although rehab outcomes remain largely the same regardless of approach, AA participation after rehab has been linked positively with long-term sobriety.