Non 12 Step Rehab Programs: A Veritable Option


Sober Recovery Expert Author

For those seeking help, there is a wide variety of drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities to choose from. There are centers that treat men only and those that treat women only. Some facilities exclusively offer in-patient services while others exclusively offer outpatient services. Still, there are some that offer both.

Due to all the variables that come with methods of treatments and treatment centers themselves, it is very important that the person seeking treatment for substance abuse performs diligent research to find what best suits their unique emotional make-up and personality.

While 12-step programs are responsible for saving countless lives, it is not a one-size-fits-all. Learn what other treatment options are available and if they may offer a better fit for you.

To 12 Step or Not to 12 Step

Though 12 step programs are effective for many, it is not the end-all-be-all of recovery options. If you are wondering which treatment works best with you, here are some factors that may indicate you being better suited at a non 12 step treatment center:

  1. You do not believe in a “higher power”
  2. You feel yourself to be socially awkward
  3. You are very shy
  4. You value your personal privacy
  5. You are uncomfortable sharing your deepest emotions and thoughts with a group of strangers
  6. There are no 12 step programs where you live

A major difference in philosophy is that 12 step treatment programs tell the addict that they are powerless, diseased and incurable whereas the non 12 step model believes in empowering the individual to find his or her own way out of their suffering. The individual in the non 12 step program is taught to be self-aware and self-confident along with instructions on the necessary life skills to face the issues that caused addiction in the first place. The healing process is up to the individual addict, not a higher power.

More Differences

Some medical professionals consider non 12 step programs to be science-based where 12 step programs are faith-based. This is a valid distinction and it is not difficult for an individual to find the most suitable treatment program based on his or her personal philosophy.

Another major difference between the two treatment methodologies is the time spent in rehabilitation. The length of treatment in traditional 12 step programs is generally 28 days. Non-traditional, non 12 step programs require more time. Such programs have a duration of 60, 90 or even 120 days. This extended duration of treatment is due to the fact that these non-traditional therapies are tailored to the individual addict.

Non-traditional therapists must discover the means to get at the root cause of the substance abuse which is unique to each addict. Once the primary cause of the addiction has been discovered, an individual treatment method is designed for the specific patient to maximize a successful treatment result.

The Benefits

The good news is that, surprisingly, the non 12 step programs are more successful than the traditional models. There are fewer relapses and no need to attend meetings for the rest of one’s life.

Non 12 step programs do not rely on drug replacement therapy. They offer a more holistic approach as they do not consider the substance abuser to have a disease. This means patients leave the detox facility totally drug-free and not dependent on suboxone, methadone or any other drugs.

More good news for non 12 step treatment methods is their success rate of over 70% versus the traditional 28-day, 12 step programs that barely manage to reach a successful treatment rate of 10%.

Recovery from substance abuse is a long and arduous road. It is important for the addict to choose carefully among the many treatment options available by looking inward before deciding on the treatment facility and treatment therapies that best suit his physical and emotional needs.

If you or someone you know is seeking help from addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 800-891-8171 to speak to a treatment specialist.

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