Are 12-Step Programs Really Effective in Ohio?

The Recovery VillageDrug Rehab

Group of people placing hands on top of each other in a circle.

The concept makes sense; stick with a group of peers who are going through the same issues, and support each other throughout the journey in order to stay on the path to recovery.

That is the idea behind support groups when it comes to overcoming addiction to drugs or alcohol, and they have been around for decades as part of an overall treatment protocol. More specifically, 12-step programs encourage participants to follow specific steps in order to ensure a full recovery. But the question is, are 12-step programs really effective in Ohio drug rehab?

What Are 12-Step Programs?

Basically, 12-step programs involve different steps that addicts are encouraged to take throughout recovery and are specifically designed to help alcoholics and drug addicts overcome their addictions. Fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are the most famous 12-step programs that were established for alcoholics and drugs addicts, respectively.

The premise behind 12-step programs is that addicts can help to support one another and help members remain sober by maintaining healthier behaviors in a supportive setting surrounded by others battling the same issues. These groups encourage participants to share their experiences while offering each other hope and support.

Along with the help and support of a sponsor, participants of 12-step programs are encouraged to work through each step of the program. There are no specific requirements to become members of 12-step programs, except for the desire to stop using drugs or alcohol and to make proper behavioral changes.

Group of people sitting together in a support group.

Members of 12-step programs can get support and guidance from others who are dealing with the same types of substance use issues.

What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of 12-Step Programs?

Of course, considering the pros and cons of 12-step programs would be helpful before choosing to participate in one, such as the following:

Pros of 12-step programs include:

  • Support – These programs offer a supportive environment where the majority of participants are very helpful and do not judge others.
  • Cost – There is no membership fee involved with 12-step programs, though no one is prohibited from making small donations if they so choose.
  • Sponsorship – Having access to a sponsor can be a very powerful tool for overcoming addiction.
  • Accessibility – 12-step meetings are available all across the country, at all times of the day and in various venues.

Cons of 12-step programs include:

  • Spiritual connotations – While not political in nature, 12-step programs are somewhat spiritual, which can turn some people off.
  • Lack of accountability – Since 12-step programs only require the use of members' first names and no contact information, there is a sense of anonymity. As such, members are not held accountable if they do not attend.
  • Lack of therapy – Although members receive sponsorship in 12-step programs, there may be no therapeutic professionals present to offer psychiatric care.

Are 12-Step Programs Effective?

Many addicts seeking help for their addiction might wonder about the effectiveness of 12-step programs. Considering how prevalent these programs are and the number of success stories that have come about from those who have participated in 12-step programs, it would stand to reason that these programs are certainly effective.

While 12-step programs are very helpful, they may be best used alongside other addiction recovery programs. The majority of drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers include 12-step programs in their treatment protocols. Addicts who go through and complete treatment are more likely to continue implementing the concepts learned in 12-step programs in the future, which can help them stay on the path of sobriety.

At the end of the day, 12-step programs can give addicts the support and encouragement they need to stay strong in their sobriety, rather than going it alone.

Choosing the right 12-step program to join can be a bit of a challenge, despite the prevalence of these meetings all across Ohio. In order to make it easier to narrow down your options, associates at The Recovery Village are available to help you make that decision. 

If you are thinking about joining a 12-step program, Ohio drug rehab experts are on standby to guide you in the right direction. Contact us to learn more.