The Benefits of 12-Step Programs 

There are multiple different options when it comes to addiction recovery programs, and one of the more common programs recovering addicts turn to is the 12-Step program. It is often used in conjunction with detoxification programs, professional treatment, and long-term therapy. Once people finish a treatment program, they will often continue to attend 12-Step meetings, sometimes for many years after first achieving sobriety. Here are a few of the many benefits of 12-step programs that we can allow to be of service to us along our recovery journey.

When we’re actively using, we lack stability, security, and structure, both within ourselves and in our daily lives, and 12-step programs can provide these for us. We have tangible steps to take, guidance to follow, and values to uphold, all of which can help give us a clear sense of direction when otherwise we would feel completely lost. The program can function as a roadmap, giving us a clear, laid out path to follow. 

When we work the program, we’re undertaking a journey many have taken before us, and we benefit from knowing that for years this system has been tried and true and has helped countless others in recovery immeasurably. Our addictions can make us feel as though we’re totally alone and isolated from the rest of the world. They rob us of community and our sense of purpose. When we take part in 12-step programs, we feel renewed by the purpose of completing the steps. We feel supported by those with whom we are in fellowship. We’re reminded that not only do we not have to be alone and isolated, but we can also allow ourselves to be surrounded by likeminded people coping with similar struggles, and we benefit mutually from all of the encouragement, wisdom, and guidance we provide one another.

Another benefit of 12-step programs is the emphasis placed on working with a sponsor, a fellow recovering addict who commits to being a mentor and guide to newer members. When we work with sponsors, we receive the tremendous gifts of their expertise, knowledge, and experience. As we know, addiction is a unique and debilitating illness. We may have loved ones in our lives who want to help and support us but who simply can’t understand our addictions the way fellow people in recovery can. Our sponsors’ can provide us with invaluable pointers and advice that can only be learned from lived experience. We can be strengthened and empowered when sharing with one another everything we’ve lived through and overcome. 

Riverside Recovery is committed to helping you get back the life you love. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, family workshops, and mindfulness-based relapse prevention education. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.