You Need Today
Whatever your addiction, you’ve probably heard that a 12-step program can be a lifesaver. In fact, it’s become the battle cry of the addiction world: “Realize that you are powerless over your addiction, surrender, and be set free!”
What if that’s not the case, though? What if, despite the prevalence of 12-step programs, they’re not the best way to handle your addiction? Take a look at the following reasons why non-12-step programs are in fact the better option:
Although 12-step programs are widely available and free, they’re not particularly successful; just 5% are. Many people try to achieve recovery with a 12-step program, but it’s actually not effective.
By contrast, a non-12 step program uses science-based research and a philosophy that encourages individuals to take control and undergo empowered change, instead of helpless surrender.
Let’s say for a moment that your addiction is a disease. That disease would then have a medically based model and a solution to manage that disease, right? But in fact, 12-step programs utilize a questionable “faith”-based approach to this disease. And if this *is* a medical disease, it’s already well documented that faith healing is questionable at best.
Similar to the disease model (which also takes power away from you in that disease is something that “just happens to you” most of the time), 12-step addiction programs in effect hamstring you, make you helpless, and tell you that you are powerless over your addiction. These programs insist that you will never be able to control yourself around drugs or alcohol, and that’s a fear-based approach. It’s not effective for most people long-term. Instead, again, the goal is to become empowered and overcome your addiction.
12-step programs focus on the statement, “Once an addict, always an addict,” and turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. By contrast, non-12-step programs give you the ability to know that change is possible at any point in time, and that stop using drugs or drinking any time you wish. This approach actually instills confidence so that you can make better choices for your future, instead of focusing on substance abuse. You won’t be stuck in endless “recovery,” and can instead quit your addiction long-term and for good.
That sounds like a bad thing, but in fact it’s very good. If you are responsible for your addiction, then you can also be responsible for its resolution.
One of the most damaging things 12-step programs do is to make relapse a foregone conclusion. That is, relapse is expected and in fact is accepted as part of recovery. Non-12-step programs focus on recovery, not relapse. You can recover without backsliding or struggling; you are in charge.
Everybody’s path to sobriety is different, and there are not any “cookie-cutter” solutions, no “one-size-fits-all” approach that will help you get and stay sober. Instead, take responsibility for your behaviors and decisions, and release yourself from the idea that addiction is a disease. Instead, focus on self-empowerment and choice, banish self-limiting behavior, and find what works for you. You have the power to stop abusing if you wish — with help if needed, but without the constant weight of permanent addiction.