When it comes to addiction recovery, many people elect to attend a 12 step rehabilitation program. However, 12 step programs have proven themselves not to be right for everyone. In fact, 12 step programs are even less effective than many people believe them to be. Fortunately, non 12 step recovery programs are available for people who decide the 12 steps are not for them. In fact, there are a number of different non 12 step rehab options. Before considering which option is best, it is important to understand a few key problems with traditional 12 step programs.
12 Step Programs
Despite their popularity, 12 step programs are not always the most effective means of recovery. In fact, it is difficult to even determine the real success rate of 12 step programs due to their anonymous nature. Because programs like AA rely on people reporting their own success or failure anonymously, data on the success rate of their program is less reliable. Those who revert back to substance abuse are unlikely to report this on surveys taken, resulting in skewed data.
In addition to having ambiguous success rates, 12 step programs involve patients accepting some type of religious affiliation. While clients are typically asked to turn their lives over to a ‘higher power,’ the Big Book utilized in AA programs does use the term ‘God.’ Many atheists and other non-religious people who have substance abuse problems are held back from recovery by this aspect of 12 step programs.
Non 12 Step Program Options
There are a variety of options when it comes to non 12 step recovery programs. While some are targeted towards specific groups, most non 12 step rehabs are open to the general public. Some take medical approaches to recovery while some identify as holistic recovery centers. With so many options, there is guaranteed to be a non 12 step drug rehab appropriate for everyone.
- SMART: Smart Management and Recovery Training (SMART) is a program based on scientific research. Meetings are available to clients both in person, typically at a non 12 step rehab center. SMART utilizes various types of therapy to help clients alter self-destructive behaviors. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, as well as Motivational Enhancement Therapy, are both elements of the SMART program. While practices within the program are always changing based on scientific research, the SMART program has four main points. They are as follows:
- Create motivation to change: without strong enough motivation, patients have no reason to work on their sobriety.
- Control Urges: After entering rehab and removing drugs and alcohol from their system, clients learn how to control the urges they are feeling for the substance they were
previously addicted to.
- Regulate thoughts and behaviors: Clients must learn how to regulate and process through their own emotions.
- Create a balanced life: Learning how to control stressors and balance day to day life helps clients refrain from turning back to drugs or alcohol.
- Women for Sobriety: Designed especially for women dealing with substance abuse issues, Women for Sobriety is an organization that hosts meetings all throughout the country for women to get together and support each other through their journey towards sobriety. Keeping women’s needs specifically in mind, Women for Sobriety seeks to help members identify both their negative thoughts and behaviors, then change those behaviors. Women for Sobriety has 13 statements which clients are urged to review morning and night and put into practice during the day.
- Moderation Management: Moderation Management (MM) is a very different type of non 12 step recovery program. Meant for those who abuse alcohol, not those who have an alcohol dependence, Moderation Management functions on the principle that recovery does not require complete abstinence from the addiction. Instead, clients are taught to manage their own problem behaviors and make positive changes in their own lives. Moderation Management does require clients to go through a 30-day abstinence period at the onset of the program. During this period, clients are taught how to cope with urges, and how to be responsible when exposed to addictive substances.
- LifeRing: With both online meetings and in-person meetings available at non 12 step drug rehab centers, LifeRing is a secular program which believes each member is responsible for their own journey. They draw a distinction between one’s ‘sober self’ and one’s ‘addicted self’. Programs are designed to help promote healthy ‘sober selves’, with peer groups held at holistic recovery centers. Members are able to share their stories and offer each other advice at meetings.
- Secular Organizations for Sobriety: This secular group offers membership both in person and online. Seeking to help clients challenge themselves, and move past the things they cannot chance, SOS has a variety of different programs available for clients to choose from.
There are a number of different non 12 step recovery programs available out there. When it comes to finding the right one, it is important to keep in mind a few different things. Some organizations are marketed towards specific groups – Women for Sobriety, for example. Different organizations will typically use different recovery methods within their programs. Deciding which program is the correct one can be difficult, but when it comes to non 12 step recovery programs and holistic recovery centers, there are many options.