The 12 step addiction recovery program is possibly the best-known support for someone looking to overcome their illness. However, not everyone is aligned with the principles of 12 step which requires individuals to submit themselves to a higher power in order to find healing from substance use disorder. Fortunately, there are now several non 12 step recovery programs that are not based on traditional 12 step principles.
In order for rehab to be successful in achieving sustainable recovery, it is essential individuals recognize the benefits of their treatment. If they are not necessarily religious or unwilling to find healing through a faith-based structure, non 12 step rehab centers provide an effective alternative. In this article, we take a closer look at non 12 step alcohol rehab programs that might resonate better with individuals seeking treatment without judgment.
How Non 12 Step Rehab Centers Are Different
The main difference between the two different approaches stems from the fact that 12 step sees alcohol or drug dependence as a moral weakness requiring correction. In other words, all the problems an individual is experiencing in their lives as a result of drug or alcohol abuse and in order to recovery, they simply need to stop using.
12 step also involves patients admitting that they are powerless to help themselves which is quite different in non 12 step alcohol rehab. Non 12 step recovery programs view addiction as an illness that requires treatment rather than a character flaw.
Here’s a simple medical analogy which highlights the difference between 12 step and non 12 step alcohol rehab alternatives:
If someone were to fall and break their leg, they would almost certainly head straight to the doctor. If the physician didn’t examine their leg or take any x-rays but simply prescribed painkillers to make them more comfortable, they would be surprised.
Wouldn’t it be necessary to establish what kind of break was in the leg and how to fix it so it healed properly rather than just prescribing something for the pain? Although the physician’s approach deals with the immediate problem which is intense pain caused by the break; it doesn’t address the underlying issue.
The same applies in arguments between 12 step and its alternatives, with many believing the more traditional approach is nothing more than a sticking plaster solution. Because 12 step believes that addiction is a “problem” that can be “solved” by a readjustment of faith, it fails to recognize the key factors underlying an individual’s substance abuse. Without addressing all aspects of a person’s compulsion to abuse substances across the spectrum of mind, body, and spirit, a long-term recovery is less likely.
The Motivation is Different
A key difference between 12 step and alternative recovery programs is in terms of individuals’ personal responsibility for their actions. 12 step reinforces the idea of accepting that a higher power is needed in order to correct character flaws rather than allowing people to take personal responsibility for their addiction. The 12 steps recovery method also expect participants to admit they are “powerless” in their struggle against using drugs or alcohol which again does nothing but distance them from their issues.
Non 12 step rehabilitation is quite opposite in terms of its approach in that patients are empowered to make changes in their lives in order to find their own path to sobriety. Patients in non-traditional rehab are encouraged to recognize that they have the power within themselves to overcome the challenges faced in treatment rather than supplicating themselves to a supernatural entity. In terms of motivation, the non-traditional approach often presents more challenges to someone entering treatment as they will have to push themselves on a daily basis to overcome drug or alcohol dependence. Conversely, the 12 step option requires people to have faith in a religious system in order to absolve them of any responsibility for their actions.
An Alternative Treatment Plan
One of the biggest criticisms of 12 step recovery is that it has a rigid structure. Non 12 step recovery programs offer a more flexible approach to rehabilitation which takes into account the needs of each individual requiring treatment. Non 12 step rehabilitation is based on the belief that everyone is different, with varying treatment needs. 12 steps are much more inflexible in that it offers a “one size fits all” solution that many feels are outdated.
When someone has experienced addiction, they will know that it is a dark and lonely place. First reaching out for help can be a daunting prospect and many people fear being harshly judged by others who simply don’t understand the nature of addiction. 12 step has a tendency to place blame on participants so that someone who is already at their lowest point can be made to feel even more worthless.
The alternative approach relies on personalized treatment plans that are devised after considerable evaluation and assessment. It is crucial that patients entering rehab are able to communicate their experience to a qualified therapist in order to devise the most appropriate treatment program. This is quite different to 12 step which firmly believes that everyone should follow the program’s formula to the letter.
Why Opt for Non-12-Step Drug Rehab?
In comparison to 12 step, alternative approaches are now showing much higher success rates in helping patients achieve sobriety. There are different treatment paths available in non 12 step rehab centers including holistic therapies and practices offering more flexible routes to recovery. Even though 12 steps was the first addiction support structure founded back in 1935, there are many reasons why more and more people are entering alternative treatment, including simply that times have changed.