12 step treatment for alcohol and drug addictions

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by MORGANCOOK5, Nov 9, 2009.

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    OK 12 step treatment for alcohol and drug addictions. I would like to hear what peoples opinions are on this, from people with personal experience with it, possibly being themselves, a family member,or a friend, to people with no experience with it, maybe just from what you might have heard. Do you feel that it is a positive treatment for people struggling with addiction, does it work, could it possibly be harmfully, are there better ways for a person to overcome an addiction, in what ways do you feel a person should try to overcome an addiction. Do you feel addiction is a disease like the 12 treatment industry suggest? I would like to hear intelligent opinion from people whatever your stance might be on this issue. What I don't want to hear is stupid things like "rehab is for quitters" or other such nonsense. I have my own opinions on this that I will hold back on until I get some feedback from other people so as to not persuade or discourage anyone's opinions
  2. kiki_khaos

    kiki_khaos Member

    My father was a drug addict and an alcoholic back when I was a kid (like between the age of 2 and 8--I'm 19 now) and although he's relapsed a couple of times, friends and family have always been there for him.

    And I think that's important for recovery. Like the AA and NA meetings, I really believe that the whole "sponsor and sponsee" system works. I think for someone who might feel alone in the world (maybe that's why he or she turned to drugs/alcohol?), this helps because it allows that person the opportunity to talk to someone who had a similar, almost exact, situation.

    I remember when my dad first joined NA, he relied so much on his sponsor. If he had a moment of doubt, or just needed to talk about his stressful day, his sponsor was there to listen and support.

    I think that these programs also help people make friends, and give the opportunity to talk to people their own age and maybe a group with very similar interests. These programs are meant for people to feel welcome and wanted, and I'm grateful they exist (or my father, unfortunately, would not be here otherwise).
  3. Chargette

    Chargette Well-Known Member

    I'm in AA and it has helped me a lot. When I was new and totally stressed and could not process information, I would sit in meetings with my eyes closed. After awhile, I realized that the hum of voices was soothing to me and somehow I was picking up on the program.

    When I was able to open my eyes, I found myself fidgeting a lot. Now, I take crochet or knitting.

    I was always concerned about what to say, but I've learned that listening is best at first. When I do talk, I say something simple. The other day I said to the group, "Just for today, my job is to stay sober."

    The simple stuff is very helpful for the new comers, especially if they are in the same kind of shape I was in.

    Before AA, I attended Al-Anon. Al-Anon is helpful too. It took me a long time to finally get what detachment is. It sure cuts down on the stress once that is learned and can be practiced.

    If anyone reading this is interested in going to a 12 step meeting of any kind, most groups recommend attending 6 meetings before deciding if the program will be helpful for you. Also, if you don't like one particular meeting group of people, you can always go to another one. Shop around if you need to.
  4. thomasstuart

    thomasstuart New Member

    The 12 steps drug rehab program has slowly evolved into Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous from its original name, Alcoholics Anonymous.The founders of Alcoholics Anonymous were two alcoholics who got together in an effort to handle their addiction in 1934. This program has helped thousands of people beat alcohol addiction and is the main technology used today in rehab help across the country. When harder drugs like cocaine and heroin became a problem, it was only natural that the same 12 steps be used for these addictions. However drug addiction needs a different approach to handle the physical part of the problem by using the sauna method.The 12 Step program has approximately a 5 to 10 percent success rate.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2009
  5. twc

    twc Well-Known Member

    I have been to rehab and was required to attend AA/NA for more than a year after. I don't think it helped me and to be quite honest I found it rather disturbing. The whole thing seemed very religious (although this is constantly denied) and there was a lot of abuse: older men preying on young/underage girls, especially.

    Unfortunately there are not a lot of other options, especially low cost ones. Rational Recovery is one group.

    To answer your other questions:

    I don't think addiction is a disease. There is no medical way to define it. The old idea that addiction was defined by presence of withdrawal symptoms is somewhat useful, although out of favor. With no strict definition, you have people saying they are "addicted" to shopping or other ridiculous things that might be better described as bad habits or OCD.

    I think a lot of the confusion around addiction comes from the attempt to label people as opposed to simply addressing their real problems and learning better behavior.

    The book "Addiction Is A Choice" by Jeffrey Schaler is a good read, although I don't agree with everything in it.
  6. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    I have seen the 12 step program in action. It was forced upon me by a DUI conviction in 1984. It had a mild affect on me but not as much as the overnight jail stint and fines did.

    I have a friend who quit alcohol, cigarettes and pot all at the same time with the 12 step program. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it is similar to a religious cult, with the successful members becoming the new generation of preachers for the cult. However, if the bottom line is sobriety, it is worth it for those that cannot get there through other methods.

    Unfortunately (again) the program requires that the member cut off all ties with anyone who drinks, or uses or may have a tendency to drink/use according to what I've seen and have experienced first hand by my friends statement to me that we could no longer see one another socially.

    If one cannot achieve sobriety through any other means, and is serious about getting sober, I would say it is worth the effort.
  7. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    I completely agree. I have been there, and it is definitely a religion in itself. The members committed that AA is there ONLY way to salvation. It sounds so much like Christianity. How they were lost and now they were found. How the fellowship and God saved them. I hear all that. But like Christianity, if it works for you, go for it! I've been to AA. It's nice but I would never make it my life. I would never put give it so much credit as to say it saved me. Only I can save myself.

    Actually I think that differs from meeting to meeting. With the central focus of each meeting the same, some have different rules and different ways of doing things. I have never been to an AA meeting where they said to do this. I've been to NA meetings where they said to cut ties with people who use. But at AA, or at least the ones I've been to, they realize that drinking is so common it would be near impossible to cut ties with everyone who drinks.
  8. Sparky55313

    Sparky55313 Well-Known Member

    I was forced into daily AA meetings for 6 months due to a commitment. Having to attend daily I had to go to different places. I found some were a big joke. The members were in a constant power struggle. Some were, in my opinion, over zealous. I did find some that were way awesome in regards to being an individual. Did it help me? I can't say for sure. I am still sober but haven't attended a meeting for some time. All I can say is if you don't care for the first time there, keep an open mind and try it again. If you still don't care for it, try another location. but do give it a try. I'm 14 months sober still.
  9. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    Thanks for clearing that up Spencer...the way my friend spoke I thought it was all of them that wanted the members to cut ties with those that drink. What you say definitely makes more sense. Thanks again...

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