There have been some delusions when it comes to 12 Step Recovery Programs, that they don’t work, that there’s a high failure rate. You sit in a circle, like you might see on the television, and discuss your feelings. It’s all silly nonsense, right? Think again. Many people use this as a means to cope with a traumatic experience which may have induced alcohol or drug intake. It’s a way to overcome addiction.

The 12 Step Recover Program is based on the approach developed by Bill Wilson and Dr Bob Smith back in the 1930s. The program has existed since then and to find AA Meetings to this day is incredibly easy. Doubt in this program and others like it stems from the medical and clinical communities. Their intentions, as scientists, are always to search for the best method to reach a certain goal. The notion is that there is a better way, and their goal is to find it.


There have been reports that the success of Alcoholics Anonymous is as low as 5-10%. While it may be true that the science behind the 12 Step Program might not be as empirical as some scientists would like, claiming that they don’t work is a failure. Alcoholics Anonymous themselves boast a 70% success rate of those who have completed the 12 steps.

Many things boil down to willpower. The person in question needs to want the program to succeed. The 12 steps are not for those who know they have a problem but want an outside force to come in and do all the hard work for them. The 12 steps are for those who know they have no other choice but to get better. For the sake of their family, for their friends, for their job; perhaps for their own health.

If you want to overcome your alcoholism through the program, you have to commit fully. Like any course, you need to follow through, be invested, and oblige. You can’t dismiss the value of the program if you don’t do the 12 steps.

The medical community might not believe in the success of the 12 Step program, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. A strong support system is key to coping with sobriety. You are rebuilding your life, dredging it up from the deep waters you’d left it drowning in, and you need others who understand. Empathy and a sense of camaraderie can get a person through hard times. Having their experience and their struggles shared and validated can go a long way in making a person not feel lonely or misunderstood.

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There are as many roads to recovery as there are people. Don’t dismiss the 12 step program just because some nay-sayers don’t believe in its success rate. Any option is valid. The program might not be the right choice for you, but it might be for someone else. Over 2 million people worldwide attend AA Meetings. There are over 115,000 meetings to choose from. It certainly doesn’t hurt to give the program a chance. Remember, though, that the value in the program can only be found after completing it.

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