12 step programs are often used for individuals who have alcohol abuse or addiction problems, but how effective are these programs and do they actually work? Every individual is different, and will consume alcohol in different amounts and for different reasons. 12 step programs involve a series of steps intended to help a recovering alcoholic work their way back to permanent sobriety, and these programs include a belief in a higher power. Christian alcohol abuse treatment programs also involve a belief in god, but these also address the underlying causes of the alcohol abuse on an individual case with many programs. 12 step programs can be highly effective for some individuals but others may not get the same results because of the lack of individual counseling that is involved.
The specific 12 step program being considered may offer significant help if you have a problem with alcohol abuse or addiction, or you may find that the expected recovery never materializes no matter how many meetings you attend. If you have an issue with alcohol abuse or addiction then you want a program that actually works, and you should consider a facility that provides inpatient care at first and individual counseling sessions several times a week. A 12 step program is best used after leaving inpatient treatment for most individuals who need help for alcohol abuse or drug addiction. The inpatient facility can help you through the initial detox and recovery, and then a 12 step program can ensure that you stay on the right road to recovery once you are back home again.
Individuals who have received a dual diagnosis have both substance abuse problems and mental disorders. Until recently many addiction recovery professionals were unsure whether 12 step programs could help those who were dual diagnosed, and there were concerns that the mental disorders would not be properly treated and the right medications would not be determined. A recent research study shows that 12 step programs can offer some benefits for individuals who have a dual diagnosis, and these programs can help with substance abuse treatment and addiction recovery. The study results can be found in the Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Journal in the February 2014 issue. An area of concern is that the 12 step programs are only designed to treat substance abuse, and that some mental disorders may make the individual uncomfortable in the groups.
What the research is showing is that dual diagnosis patients can benefit from 12 step programs, as long as other treatment is also provided for the mental disorder that the individual has been diagnosed with. In spite of reports that AA and other 12 step programs are against any form of medication the study shows that many of the groups have numerous members who believe that medication is acceptable when needed. Another concern before the study results was that 12 step programs may not recognize the mental disorder symptoms, and may assume that the individual is not working through the program as intended. When both substance abuse and mental disorders occur a wide support system is crucial. 12 step programs can be another link to the support that recovering alcoholics and drug abusers need, and they can be beneficial to the recovery process when used properly.