When 12-Step Programs Don’t Work For You

The 12-Step program is not the only method used in rehabs to assist addicts in getting clean and living sober lifestyles. Some rehabs accomplish the same goals through the following means:


Medications are available to assist with addiction. For Opiate addicts, the medication blocks Opiate cravings and in some cases will cause you to go into severe withdrawal if you use while you’re on the meds.

For alcoholics, there are medications that will make you ill if you drink alcohol. Twelve-Step meeting advocates discourage the use of any medications for cravings, but other types of rehabs believe the medications help.

The premise of the medication is that it blocks your ability to get high, while your brain chemistry has a chance to heal and you develop more appropriate coping skills and lifestyle choices. Once those skills are in place, you can be weaned off the medication.

Treatment Options


Individual counseling and group therapy is used by non-12-Step based rehabs to help you figure out what led you to abuse substances and what you can do to avoid the pattern in the future.

For example, Assisted Recovery Program Centers place an emphasis on confronting underlying emotional issues and identifying addictive thoughts and behaviors.

Check out: Sorkin on sobriety: You forget how to celebrate


Many non-12-Step rehabs are not faith based. This doesn’t mean you will be asked to renounce your faith or give up your beliefs. The 12-Step method of recovery requires that you turn your addiction over to a higher power. In non-faith based programs, there are no such requirements.

Final thoughts: Addictions are not a one-size fits all problems, so it makes sense that there are several possible paths to finding sobriety and recovery. If 12-Step programs don’t give you what you are looking for, it might be time to try an alternative.

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About Mark Miclette 682 Articles
writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.