Alcohol Recovery Programs: Why Are They Important?

When people think about addictive drugs, illegal drugs typically come to mind first. However, some addictive drugs are available at their local stores. Of course, we’re talking about alcohol. Because of the popularity of this drug, alcohol recovery programs are more important than ever.

Such recovery programs can help people overcome alcohol addiction in multiple ways. They usually offer standard treatments alongside a 12-step recovery program and a non 12 step recovery program. These approaches to recovery have their own merits. For that reason, determining which one is right for someone who struggles with alcohol addiction comes down to personal needs and preferences.

What Are 12-Step Recovery Programs?

12 Step ProgramFirst, let’s discuss 12-step programs because they’re more widely known alcohol recovery programs. The main goal is to provide a set of guidelines on how to live a sober and drug-free life.

Twelve-step programs have continued to be popular throughout the years, mostly because they have a proven track record. While they don’t work for everyone, they do have a high success rate. Let’s take a closer look at the steps that make 12-step programs so successful.

Step 1

The first step requires people to be honest with themselves. After months or years of denial, it’s important that they accept that they have an alcohol problem. They have to admit that they’re powerless over alcohol. It’s where the saying, “The first step is admitting you have a problem,” comes from.

Step 2

The second step asks people to believe in a higher power. Before this higher power can support them, they first have to believe that it can. Traditionally, this step has to do with turning themselves over to God. However, it’s really about people believing in a power greater than themselves regardless of their faith. It’s why the 12 Steps can work for everyone.

Step 3

After learning to accept a higher power, the third step revolves around surrendering to that power. By surrendering, people can bring an end to self-will. This part is necessary because that type of lifestyle led them down the path of alcohol abuse in the first place.

Step 4

The next step is for people to do a little soul searching. After all, it’s best to look at a 12-step program as a process rather than an event. During this time, it’s essential that they take a moral inventory of themselves.

Step 5

Step five is one that most people have trouble with. It requires them to admit their wrongdoings to themselves, the higher power and others. It’s not the same as asking for forgiveness, though. That comes later. Right now, it’s about admitting what they have done wrong.

Step 6

Afterward, people have to learn to accept themselves. They must accept their own character flaws and defects. Only once they accept those flaws can they be willing to let them go.

Step 7

Many people have trouble showing humility and asking for help. That’s why so many of them have trouble with step seven. It’s all about showing humility and asking the higher power for help to do something that they simply can’t do alone. Learning how to ask for help is a vital part of the recovery process.

Step 8

Step eight is all about preparing to make amends. During this step, people are asked to make a list of the people they’ve harmed as a result of their addiction. Also, they need to be willing to make amends with whoever they add to the list.

Step 9

With a list of people they have wronged in hand, it’s time for them to make amends. Asking for forgiveness is a hard pill to swallow for many people. However, they must take this step seriously. It will help them rebuild the bridges that their alcohol addiction destroyed.

Step 10

The 10th step is all about maintaining the lifestyle that the first nine steps have put in place. It includes continuing to take a moral inventory of themselves. When they do something wrong, it’s important that they admit it and atone for their behavior.

Step 11

Through the use of prayer and meditation, people can strengthen the connection and communication with their higher power. During this time, they’ll seek to discover the plan that the higher power has for them. Sometimes, this step can take a long time to complete. However, it’s crucial for them to stick with it so that they can figure out their own purpose.

Step 12

The goal of step 12 is to help others who are struggling. Doing so turns out to be the answer to step 11 for some people. Their purpose is to help others overcome addiction.

What Percentage of Alcoholics Recover Using the 12 Step Recovery Program?

Unfortunately, there’s no exact percentage that determines the effectiveness of 12 step programs. Despite that, these programs have been around for a long time for a reason. They do work. In order to work, though, the participants have to believe in the programs. Simply going through the motions isn’t enough.

Additionally, 12 step programs aren’t for everyone. In fact, Scientific American reports that around 40% of individuals drop out of 12 step programs within the first year. For many of them, a non 12 step recovery program might be the answer.

Non 12 Step Recovery Programs

Everyone is different, so no one program will work for everyone. That’s why there are many programs for people who struggle with alcohol addiction. One popular choice is SMART Recovery.

What Is SMART Recovery?

Like Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery is a nonprofit organization that helps people overcome addiction. Whereas 12-step programs are very much based around faith, SMART Recovery is more based around research. It has four major principles:

  • Getting and maintaining motivation.
  • Learning how to manage urges and cravings.
  • Learning how to properly handle thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
  • Finding the right balance in life.

The idea behind SMART Recovery is that negative thoughts and emotions cause bad behavior. By eliminating this negativity, people can eliminate bad behavior. As a result, they can enhance their recovery from addiction.

SMART Recovery utilizes the same idea behind some types of therapy. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on removing negative thoughts and feelings to improve behavior. There have been studies on the effectiveness of this type of treatment, which is why it’s considered research-based treatment.

Moderation Management

Another recovery support group is Moderation Management. Its goal is a bit different from the others on this list. It focuses on the idea that a large majority of Americans can safely drink alcohol without developing a problem. As the name suggests, it aims to help people moderate their alcohol consumption to avoid problematic behavior.

That said, Moderation Management has people focus on changing unhealthy lifestyle choices and replacing them with responsible habits. The major difference is that it doesn’t necessarily involve complete abstinence from alcohol.

Keep in mind that this program isn’t for everyone. Some people are more prone to abuse alcohol than others and respond better to abstinence-based programs. In fact, Moderation Management reports that around 30% of its members eventually move on to abstinence-based programs.

How Do People Improve Their Chances of Overcoming Alcohol Addiction?

Successful TherapyIt’s difficult to determine what percentage of alcoholics recover. There’s no exact percentage, but people can improve their odds of overcoming alcohol addiction in a few ways.

Firstly, they have to want to recover. All rehab programs, whether they use the 12 steps or not, are only as effective as the effort that people put into them. When people don’t want to recover, they won’t. For those who want to get better, these programs can provide the tools that they need.

In addition, it’s worth looking for reliable rehab centers that can help people through the entire recovery process. Recovery starts with detox, so finding a rehab center that offers both detox and rehab is ideal. The reason is because they won’t have to seek treatment from multiple facilities.

People should look for rehab centers that take personal differences into account as well. Not everyone is the same, so no one plan will work every time. That’s why there are so many alcohol recovery programs to choose from.

Chapel Hill Detox Can Help

At Chapel Hill Detox, you don’t have to wonder about what percentage of alcoholics recover from addiction. We’ll find the right program that gives you the best possible chance of overcoming your addiction. In fact, there are a number of programs in West Palm Beach, Florida:

Don’t settle for a rehab center that doesn’t create a custom program to address your individual needs. Let Chapel Hill Detox help you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more.