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The structure of treatment in many rehab centers, including our professional program, involves the use of the twelve step recovery method. The approach of the twelve step program is a time tested tradition for recovery that has proven to provide successful results in keeping people sober in the long-term. The concept behind twelve step meetings originated in the 1930s when Alcoholics Anonymous was founded with the goal of having alcoholics talk with one another to provide support and bring about change. Although the steps originally had religious elements, twelve step programs now only ask for participants to acknowledge a power greater than themselves, whatever they perceive that to be. The idea behind the twelve step approach is centered on meeting with other addicts regularly and working together to achieve sobriety. Many patients find that continuing to attend twelve step meetings after they complete treatment can help them to stay sober especially in difficult times.
When members of a twelve step group begin their recovery process they can find a sponsor that will act as their personal guide and confidant. A sponsor is someone that you can trust and rely on to help keep you sober and talk you through feelings of being tempted to use alcohol or drugs again. Twelve step meetings also give you a chance to hear other people’s stories to help you feel less alone and also understand how other people were able to overcome their personal challenges. With the help of a sponsor and the support of the whole group, each member must gradually work through the twelve steps in order to accomplish the change that they need for a successful recovery.
Each step is part of the process of acknowledging that addiction has power over you and being able to take an honest look at the mistakes that have become problematic in your life. The steps are a way to end denial, stop hiding your addiction and try to make amends with the people you have wronged in the past. The final steps also allow you to hold yourself accountable while helping others through their recovery. Every step brings people closer to their goal of changing themselves for the better so that they can remain sober and be active in the sober community. Along with all the other components in treatment, twelve step meetings help encourage and facilitate positive change for each member of the group.