The short answer to this question is no, not all addiction treatment centers use the 12 steps as a model for recovery. Very many addiction treatment centers use the 12 steps in some capacity because they have been so successful for so many people, but other centers use other models to help their clients on the road to recovery.
Benefits of using the AA 12 step program
There are good reasons for addiction treatment centers to use the 12 steps as a model for recovery. One reason is that they are very well known throughout the world; people have overcome many different kinds of addictions and destructive behavior patterns through using the 12 steps.
Easy to Find
It’s also true that 12 step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can be found almost anywhere; they are likely to exist in every community in the United States and most communities in the world. This makes it simple to construct an inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment program that clients can then continue when they graduate from the program and attempt to walk the path of health in the context of their daily lives.
The 12 step program is also flexible enough to apply to almost anyone’s lives. For example, though the founders practiced Christian spirituality, the step of invoking the help of a higher power does not require Christian belief. It only asks for the recovering person to acknowledge that it’s possible to receive help from spiritual, as well as therapeutic, sources. Anyone can do that in their own way, using their own beliefs.
People Helping Each Other
Another reason the 12 steps can be an important part of addiction treatment is that it comes down to people helping other people. As some have said it, the 12 steps are about staying sober and helping others stay sober. At first you might feel like you’re only receiving, and like you make desperate phone calls to your sponsor day and night, but soon you’ll be able to tell others what worked for you and help them as they face the same struggles you did.
The 12 steps also have accountability built in to their structure. Many people use their addiction as a way to avoid responsibility for their choices, but the 12 steps require you to accept the consequences of your actions, even actions done while you were drinking or using. Once those have been faced, a clear and sober mind can see how desirable it is to avoid incurring those consequences in the future.
The 12 steps are only one model that can be used by addiction treatment centers, but it is a good and useful model. A good 12 step program can be a good choice for your addiction treatment center and for your recovery.
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