12 step programs were initially created for those struggling with an addiction to alcohol. The first incarnation, AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), utilized the same basic principals and ideas used in the many programs that have followed. AA’s founders found the most effective means in achieving long lasting sobriety through sharing stories, successes and pain with other individuals going through the recovery process.
If you are interested in 12 step programs as a means of combating addiction, the following information will provide you with a few tips to help make the most of your involvement.
Gather information pertaining to meetings ahead of time to avoid any obstacles that may inhibit your attendance. Though the initial decision to attend these meetings is a momentous step forward, it is important to commit yourself fully to the process. Using the 12 step program in outpatient therapy is essential to a healthy and long-lasting recovery.
Contact a trusted loved one and request them to accompany you to a meeting. Determine which meeting best suits your location and schedule, while making any necessary transportation arrangements well in advance
Attend your first meeting. Though you are not required to participate, first-time attendees are encouraged to stand before the group and introduce themselves. If you find yourself uncomfortable with the meeting you have chosen, there’s no harm in choosing a different location or time in the future. Finding a meeting that you are comfortable attending is key to success within the 12 step environment. If at first you do not succeed, try, try again! Your recovery is certainly worth the effort.
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Once you found a suitable meeting, the next step is landing a sponsor. Sponsors are individuals within the program who possess significant amounts of sobriety time and reflect the recovery type you are interested in.
Sponsors act as support – someone you can contact if you feel tempted by your addiction. They will discuss the situation with you, while holding you accountable for your actions. Finding a sponsor often requires little more than a simple request.
Participants looking to receive the full benefit of the 12 step experience are encouraged to utilize all of the available tools and resources available therein. This includes the steps themselves, phones, meetings and sponsors. Attendees will be provided contact information for others to call when the need arises. Make use of these contacts when needed to alleviate feelings of isolation and boredom during your recovery journey.
If you’re ready for a change in lifestyle, Summit Behavioral Health is the place to turn. Contact us today, and let our team of addiction specialists get you back on track towards the healthy, happy lifestyle you’ve been missing!