Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction isn’t one giant leap. It’s a series of small changes and daily steps toward sobriety. The 12-step approach has been used for decades, mainly because it’s an effective method for many men and women struggling with addiction. What can you expect from 12-step integration as part of your addiction treatment programs? And how can you use it for the rest of your life?

About the 12-Step Method

two women learning about 12-step integration for addiction recoveryIn the 1930s, Alcoholics Anonymous began. This organization set 12 guidelines, or steps, as the basis for overcoming addiction to alcohol. People in recovery adopt these principles to help them make better decisions as they move forward in their lives.

Some people shy away from the 12 steps due to the strong spiritual focus. However, you’re free to call upon the higher power of your choosing when you admit to powerlessness over addiction.

Many support groups continue to use 12-step integration. It’s not only for people who abuse alcohol, and those who struggle with everything from cocaine abuse to opioid addiction can use this method.

12-Step Integration in Addiction Treatment

One of the hallmarks of addiction is a person’s belief that he’s still in control. He believes he can stop drinking or using whenever he wants; he simply doesn’t want to stop right now.

Nothing could be more untrue. When someone is in the trap of drug and alcohol addiction, he’s lost all control. That’s what the first of the 12 steps addresses: the admittance of being powerless in the face of addiction.

An effective 12-step integration program includes evidence-based therapies, such as psychotherapy and group therapy. It may also include some holistic treatments. Each type of treatment can work together to integrate all components of a person’s health. Bringing a user’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health into alignment is the goal.

Benefits of 12-Step Integration

After admitting to powerlessness over addiction, people who practice the 12 steps recognize that they need support in their recovery. They believe in a power higher than themselves to restore their sanity. They must also admit to their wrongs and make amends whenever possible.

Anyone who’s grappled with addiction has probably refused to take responsibility for her actions. She may blame her parents, her job or a past traumatic event for why she uses. When she practices the 12 steps, she accepts her part in the addiction. This is important to her ongoing recovery.

Too many people who turn to drugs and alcohol don’t feel supported. When they get the support of their peers, they don’t feel as isolated. They also feel that they’re important to someone else. This improves their confidence and self-esteem, making them less likely to turn to destructive behaviors.

Continuing With 12 Steps After Rehab

It’s called 12 steps for a reason. These changes won’t happen overnight, and they’re not easy to make. However, they’re very much worth it. When rehab ends, recovery continues. Some people have an easier time than others in maintaining their sobriety.

Continuing with 12-step support groups can be very beneficial as part of a relapse prevention plan. By supporting others and getting that support in return, you may feel more motivated. It could benefit you to feel accountable to others, as well.

Whether you attend regular AA meetings or you find other support groups, connecting with other people in recovery can be helpful, especially in those early days of sobriety.

Over Five Decades of Effective Addiction Treatment

Gateway Foundation Gurnee is part of the largest not-for-profit addiction treatment group in the country. This location serves northern Illinois with a range of effective, evidence-based practices. We maintain a strong recovery community whose primary aim is your continued sobriety.

The programs and addiction treatment services we offer include:

Are you ready to make lasting changes for your health and well-being? See how 12-step integration works in effective addiction treatment. Call the experienced professionals at Gateway Foundation Gurnee today, and we’ll guide you toward long-term sobriety. Reach out to us at [Direct] to learn more.