A woman comforts a friend at a 12 step program

How a 12-Step Program Can Assist in Recovery

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, many steps await you. And you must take these one step at a time, to achieve your long-term sobriety and recovery goals. A 12-step program leads you systematically through each step to support your commitments to yourself and those you love.

Recovery Ranch has compassionate professionals and welcoming facilities in Pennsylvania ready to help you begin your renewed life in recovery.

What Is a 12-Step Program?

Ultimately, the 12-step program is a mindfulness approach. Through the steps, you become aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions, as well as those around you in real-time. Before we look at the 12 steps, know that some steps may seem impossible now. But as you work through them, you become more comfortable with them.

The organization Alcoholics Anonymous developed the 12-step program. Their premise is that to defeat your addiction, you need to do so in steps. That’s because skipping steps in recovery may cause challenges for you down the road that lead to relapse.

Because the 12-step program has proven so effective, others in the fields of addiction and personal growth have adapted it to help individuals overcome addiction and grow. Regardless of the shape it takes, the 12-step program always centers around your community. People with similar addictions but a commitment to recovery come together to support people on various steps of their journey.

At Recovery Ranch, PA, we take a step-down approach. Most clients begin the 12-step program in an inpatient drug rehab program. You then continue through the steps in various types of outpatient rehab programs.

And finally, as you develop the skills you need to more effectively self-manage your addiction, you transition to aftercare programs. This involves attending ongoing support groups, having access to alumni resources, and attending scheduled individual counseling sessions to follow up with your therapist.

Studies show that people who continue in 12-step-based aftercare programs are twice as likely to maintain sobriety.

What Are the 12 Steps?

It’s important to note that the 12-step program asks you to surrender to a higher power. This is any power that is meaningful to you. So it doesn’t have to follow any specific religion or any religion at all.

Actually, at the Recovery Ranch PA, we embrace the psycho-spiritual wisdom found in all faiths. And we caringly use our knowledge and skill to further your recovery. If you’re uncomfortable with the “higher power” concept, Recovery Ranch PA also offers non-12-step alternatives.

So here are the 12 steps:

  1. Admit that you’re powerless because addiction is controlling your life.
  2. Believe that a higher power can restore you.
  3. Decide to turn your life over to this power.
  4. Take inventory of your life.
  5. Admit to your higher power and another person your wrongdoings.
  6. Make yourself ready to have your “defects” removed by this power.
  7. Ask this power to remove your shortcomings.
  8. Create a list of anyone you’ve harmed and be willing to make amends.
  9. Make amends directly wherever possible, unless doing so would cause more harm to the person. For example, a young child who you gave up for adoption because of addiction may not yet be ready to hear from you. That doesn’t mean that you might not be able to restore things in the future.
  10. Develop a healthy habit of continually assessing whether you’ve wronged someone. Admit it promptly.
  11. Work to improve your connection with your higher power through prayer, meditation, mindfulness, and/or discussion. Work to understand what this power thinks you should do and follow that guidance.
  12. Practice what you’ve learned in every aspect of your life and non-judgmentally share what you’ve learned with others who need help with their addiction.

Contact Recovery Ranch, PA

A 12-step program is one of many forms of evidence-based treatments and techniques Recovery Ranch PA employs to help you overcome addiction. We build individualized plans around your unique needs. These may include therapies, groups, and treatments like:

Is your life spinning out of control? The mindful approach of a 12-step program can help. Call us at 717.969.9126 to get on your path to recovery.

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