A New Take on Sobriety: 4 Reasons a Non 12 Step Rehab Might Be the Answer

Successful non 12 step recovery programs address the complexities of pursuing a drug-free life and work closely with each individual to develop an evidence-based plan of action customized to participants’ unique physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs. This approach offers hope to those seeking help for the first time, and those who are looking for a non-traditional alternative to conventional methods, such as a non 12 step alcohol treatment, after a relapse.

Drug addiction changes every aspect of an abuser’s life. Many alcohol-dependent people experience financial losses, relationship troubles, and declining health before they seek help from a treatment facility. Denial delays seeking help for some. Others say fear prevents them from taking the first step toward a healthier lifestyle. Choosing to enter a rehab facility can intimidating, even when someone struggling to break free of substance addiction believes professional help may be his or her only way to achieve sobriety.

A Non 12 Step Alcohol Treatment Plan May Be The Right Solution When Past Efforts Used A Narrowly Defined Scope of Treatment

Treatment programs designed around a narrow approach that assumes all alcohol problems are best overcome with a standardized protocol, assuming every person’s path to addiction recovery is the same. Experience working with tens of thousands of individuals proves otherwise.

While every journey starts with the first drink, each individual has a diverse set of circumstances that shape their overall health and wellness and their addiction. Achieving sobriety requires fine-tuning the program to individual needs and personal characteristics. A holistic recovery journey, such as a non 12 step alcohol treatment plan, recognizes differences as the first step on the journey to recovery.

Each personalized plan includes positive, actionable steps to identify and overcome, or minimize, the negative impact due to socioeconomic challenges, dysfunctional family dynamics, chronic mental and physical health conditions and environmental influences that may complicate treatment, as well as daily life after an in-patient program ends.

A New Approach With Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

In the past, drug and alcohol treatment facilities saw patients with underlying mental health disorders as having two distinct issues that were better treated separately. Today, we know that this approach further complicates an already difficult journey.

Based on the available research, we know that approximately 60 percent of people who suffer from a drug-related addiction also have at least one additional mental health illness.

More research is necessary to fully understand the circular relationship between mental illness and drug or alcohol abuse. Early studies and ongoing research do reveal that integrating a dual-diagnosis treatment plan with other therapies, provides a path toward better more effective treatment options that yield better patient outcomes.

This knowledge is one reason why Elevate’s non 12 step treatment options include a mental health evaluation during the initial intake process. As with managing other chronic illnesses and conditions, implementing modalities that identify and treat co-occurrence from the beginning makes sense, and is supported by scientific evidence.

Dual diagnosis programs enable:

  • Targeted behavior-modification counseling and activities
  • Outcome-driven individualized and group therapy sessions
  • Medication adjustments, and/or additions, when appropriate and available
  • Clarity for the patient regarding how mental health challenges overlap with alcohol addiction, and the brain’s response to prescribed, legal and illicit psychotropic drugs
  • More effective treatment plans that consider the whole person by addressing physical, emotional and mental fitness.

Personalized Strategies for Successful Recovery

In the same way, substance abusers benefit from integrated plans that address both previously treated and previously undiagnosed mental illnesses simultaneously with drug addiction, a holistic approach also includes looking for opportunities to enhance health and wellness on a greater scale.

Custom Nutritional Support & Guidance

Nutritional Support & Guidance

One example is customizing a dietary plan based on current health status and underlying factors, such as food allergies and malnutrition.

Allergies often remain undiagnosed, either because reactions are minor, or because symptoms are erroneously attributed to unrelated stimuli. Food allergies are more prevalent than one might think.

Research data gathered from reliable sources, and posted by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) published these interesting facts about food sensitivity and allergies:

  • About 200,000 people visit seek medical treatment annual due to food allergy complications
  • There are more than 150 known foods that produce allergic reactions
  • Although most food allergies develop during childhood, 15 percent are first diagnosed in adulthood

Since the medical community knows food allergies negatively impact health and wellness, identifying specific foods that present a problem for the treatment-seeking individual should be a priority.

Special Need Menu Planning That Supports Strength & Vitality

There is a growing body of evidence that shows plant-based diets support the body when it comes to self-healing and recovery. Numerous studies have shown a modified, nutritious diet improves blood sugar management, sleep patterns, muscle and bone strength, appetite and cognitive function. Many people with high blood pressure and non-insulin-dependent diabetes have reported being able to eliminate or dramatically reduce prescribed medications by following a plant-based diet.

A plant-based diet may not appeal to all rehab clients; however, all can benefit from developing customized nutrition and exercise plans as part of a successful strategy to help the body recover.

Interestingly, approved diets for balancing intestinal bacteria may include adding three to four cups of bone broth each day to support natural healing, definitely not plant-based, but many people have reported less joint pain, fewer headaches, and better sleep when following a strict gut-health program.

In a recent article, respected author and women’s health expert, Samantha Parent Walravens, listed some of the most common symptoms of addiction-influenced malnutrition. Many items on the list are commonly observed or reported during the intake survey and may be wrongly identified as negative effects from the long-term alcohol abuse and not a nutritional deficiency.

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Weakened immune system
  • Brain fog, trouble concentrating and memory issues
  • Headaches
  • Lethargy and severe fatigue
  • Heightened sugar and carb cravings
  • Diminished autoimmune response
  • Malnutrition
  • Joint pain, as well as osteoarthritis

Working with rehabilitation center nutritional counselors, newly admitted substance abusers will set goals and design a personalized eating plan based on their own body, general preferences, and health recovery goals.

Evidence-Based Alcohol Treatment Delivery & Supplemental Therapy Protocol

Personalizing treatment plans is an essential part of non 12 step addiction center goals. When combined with evidence-based delivery, expectations of better outcomes rise.

Based on scientific evidence, years of research, and experiences of past clients, non-traditional treatment centers like Elevate today utilize complementary treatment methodologies proven to work and supported by clinical research exploring the effectiveness under a variety of circumstances.

Treatment delivery guidelines meet or exceed best practice guidelines established by experts and working professionals in the health and wellness industry. Trained counselors facilitate individual and group sessions. Licensed medical doctors, psychiatrists, and other certified providers supervise prescription drug management during detox and the alcohol withdrawal stage to ensure each patient is safe, and as comfortable as possible during the transition from drug-dependent to drug-free.

Supplemental therapies and treatments, including music and art therapy, also known as expression therapy, help clients explore their feelings through artistic expression when articulation is difficult. The focus is typically on the “process of creating,” rather than producing a finished work of art or musical score.

Psychologists in the substance abuse treatment environment use creative expression therapy as a channel for people to explore the most painful and difficult parts of their lives. A 2014 study (Aletratis et al) peer-reviewed and published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health Public-Access Library(NIH), confirmed the benefits of adding alternative or complementary medical (CAM) practices to evidence-based medical practices. The authors concluded expressive therapies may serve the unique needs of female and adolescent substance abuse sufferers because music and art provide similar emotional responses in the brain as drugs.

Quoting a previous study (Doak, 2003), the authors said that “Adolescents, in particular, use music and drugs for similar objectives (e.g. reduce psychological distress), suggesting particular utility for music therapy in adolescent populations.” Studies going back to the 1950’s support music, art, dance and other creative expression models are beneficial for treating drug and alcohol abuse.

Aftercare Programs That Encourage Confidence & Personal Accountability

Aftercare Programs

The fourth reason to consider non 12 step recovery programs is the commitment to strong, ongoing aftercare. The decision to enter a treatment center is scary. Thoughts of leaving the safe environment are sometimes paralyzing for the person who has recently achieved sobriety. Statistically, the odds are about 50-50 when it comes to who will maintain a drug-free lifestyle and who will ultimately relapse.

The world beyond the walls that house the compassionate counselors, nutritional partners, and individualized treatment plans is rife with danger. Old hangouts, friends who still gather every week at the corner pub and family members who are dealing with their own disappointment and guilt, all create tension for newly-released-formerly-alcohol-addicted rehab graduate. A strong aftercare program is critical for post-treatment success.

The Inpatient Experience Defines Aftercare Success

Relapse is part of the journey from dependency to independence. Learning, and practicing, coping strategies during the inpatient phase of recovery is an excellent way to prevent relapse. Throughout the in-patient alcohol rehabilitation phase, clients are introduced to effective, confidence building strategies. They learn:

  • Regular exercise releases hormones that relieve stress and elevate the mood, addressing psychosocial and physiological responses to an alcohol-free lifestyle.
  • Proper nutrition is mandatory throughout the life cycle. The value of maintaining proper eating habits is perhaps one of the most important aspects of a successful recovery.
  • An accountability partner motivates and encourages the recovering addict to stay on target to achieve goals.
  • There are community resources to help with finding a new job, locating affordable housing and scouting out socialization and education venues that offer new opportunities for personal growth.
  • The support network of doctors, therapists, counselors, and advisers are still available to help during a crisis and celebrate victories.

Behavior modification therapies, combined with other evidence-based treatments that include nutritional counseling and developing coping skills, provide substance abusers with the necessary tools to pursue sobriety with vigor. The aftercare program is the beginning of the rest of a person’s life, literally. Although every step along the path to recovery and wellness presents myriad challenges, many experts agree that a sober client stepping across the threshold to face the real world is the ultimate test for a non 12 step recovery programs efficacy.

There will be missteps. There will be times that people from the past try to convince their buddies they can handle just one drink. There may be times that the world just seems too dangerous to navigate alone. At these times, a strong, ongoing aftercare program can pull a person from the brink of relapse, even if that tug in the right direction is an encouragement to reinitiate treatment or modify the exit plan.

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