Perhaps the most well-known form of addiction and mental health treatment is the 12-step program. However, many people struggling with drug or alcohol addiction don’t really understand what 12-step programs are really about before they begin recovery. Often, individuals have or are exposed to many conflicting views and opinions. It may seem that the advice and ideas of others have contradicted each other and only further confuse the issue.
The good news, though, is that there are actually many different 12-step programs and even non-12-step programs for people looking to recover from substance abuse and addiction. With the right support, you can educate yourself about these programs and discover the one that will be right for you or your loved one. At Harmony Hills, we understand that each individual will have a unique path to recovery. If you’re looking for 12-step programs in Florida, we provide various means to heal, giving each person who comes to us the best chance to make a lasting recovery. For more information about our 12-step program for mental health, call 855.494.0357 today.
How 12-Step Programs Work
All 12-step programs originated from the alcohol addiction group support program Alcoholics Anonymous. AA itself originated from a 6 step program in a different fellowship. The main goal of a 12-step program is to break down some of the walls people have built up, revise old and erroneous conceptions, and develop a new way of thinking. Differing alcohol addiction treatment programs take different approaches, but all aim to change our thinking line to be focused on others rather than ourselves. Some common 12-step programs include:
- Alcoholics Anonymous: The individual who started AA was brought almost to the brink of permanent hospitalization and a lobotomy due to his hopeless condition. He discovered some simple steps handed down to him by a friend, along with his conception of a higher power and the willingness to help others. Since its creation as the first 12-step program over 80 years ago, millions have been helped.
- Narcotics Anonymous: Started in the early ’50s in Southern California, some previous AA members created NA specifically programmed towards people with an addiction to a substance other than alcohol. NA has helped many people get sober and has been a place for people who didn’t identify as alcoholics but wanted to recover from other substance abuse issues.
- Gamblers Anonymous: Founded in the late ’50s, GA is geared towards people with severe gambling addiction. In it, you can find people who have hit bottom through their gambling, and many of these people often work multiple 12-step programs, as they have high numbers of individuals struggling with alcohol or drug abuse.
While different, all of these 12-step programs share similar stages and approaches to treatment and support.
There has been a lot of movement on programs outside of the 12-step programs aimed at recovery for anyone. Some focus on substance abuse treatment, but many are general and broad enough to offer support so individuals can get better on all fronts.
For example, an ex-user, Noah Levine, developed an initiative founded on Buddhist principles. Levine’s initiative got the ball rolling on Refuge Recovery and is based largely around the Buddhist teachings of their Four Noble Truths. They hold meetings where they discuss the art of meditation and emphasize that knowledge and empathy are virtuous in overcoming any addiction.
What started as a sort of grassroots non-profit has developed into a nationally known, fundamental tool for many people who struggle with addiction and still wish to live a sober life or for people who currently work a 12-step program to use in addition to their current program of recovery. Some people work in Refuge Recovery to simply better their life, regardless of whether they suffer from addiction or not.
This is just one example of a 12-step program being used as the basis of a non-12-step program. Each of these support programs for addiction or mental health issues is created to meet the specific needs of people struggling. In doing so, more individuals get access to the support they need to heal.
SMART Recovery is a non-12-step program for those who do not benefit from 12-step programs. It is especially popular for those with addiction to substances other than Alcohol (drugs) and specific prescription medications (painkillers).
The precepts of SMART Recovery are modeled on 12-step programs but are self-empowering rather than God/higher power-centered. SMART Recovery uses four overarching principles, which are as follows:
- Building and maintaining motivation
- Balancing pleasure with gratification
- Solving problems
- Reality thinking
Many people prefer SMART Recovery because it is based on scientific study, not spirituality. 12-step programs are widely known but have an overly judgmental attitude towards those who aren’t able to maintain their recovery journey.
Mental health issues that are handled by SMART Recovery include depression, anxiety, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), ADHD, bipolar disorder, and others. For general mental health issues, one can either use SMART Recovery Self Help Guides or the 4-Point Program, depending on the severity of symptoms or other conditions.
CR is a Christ-centered, biblically-based recovery program for people and their families dealing with past failures and destructive behaviors. This group is not strictly a drug addiction recovery approach. However, many Christians choose to opt into this community. It promotes the healing of:
- HURTS: A hurt is an emotional reaction to another person’s behavior or a disturbing situation (abuse, abandonment, codependency, divorce, a relationship issue, etc.)
- HABITS: A habit is an addiction to someone or something (alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, sex, shopping, smoking, etc.)
- HANG-UPS: A hang-up is a negative mental attitude used to cope with people or adversity (anger, depression, fear, unforgiveness, etc.)
Countless other mental health treatment programs can help people find better solutions. They can also choose different, healthier ways of living than those previously engaging in. However, most of them promote a spiritual aspect (not necessarily having anything to do with religion).
What Approaches Are Available in Treatment?
While there are commonalities across substance use disorders, each individual will have to find the best treatment for themselves. This very well might be a 12-step program, but it could also be a non-12-step one as well.
Across all the programs we offer here at Harmony Hills, we offer both 12-step and non-12-step approaches. We also use a variety of therapeutic approaches, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- EMDR therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Relapse prevention therapy
- Trauma therapy
Whatever your needs are, our teams of addiction treatment professionals and mental health specialists can provide the therapy necessary.
Discover the Support Necessary to Heal from Substance Abuse at Harmony Hills
Addiction, in any form, is never a pretty thing. People can focus solely on getting the drug, and this can go on for some time unless they find treatment. Justifying your alcohol or drug use will only keep up in the misery for longer. Finding the right treatment program is key. Some of what we offer at Harmony Hills includes:
- Residential treatment program
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
- Aftercare program
- Alumni program
If you or a loved one has struggled with getting a firm grasp on their mental health, please call 855.494.0357. Our team at Harmony Hills is waiting to help figure out what options are best for you. Through treatment, you can send your life in a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.