Are 12-Step Programs Enough to Maintain Sobriety?

Are 12-Step Programs Enough to Maintain Sobriety?

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    Getting sober is not just about not drinking alcohol or using drugs. Making the choice to get sober is making a choice to change your life. 12-Step programs are common first steps that many in search of treatment experience. It is usually suggested by others who are currently in their recovery journey. However, there are a plethora of options for you to choose from. 

    No single piece of your sobriety puzzle is enough to maintain your sobriety on its own. There is a recipe specific to each individual with substance use disorder (SUD). That recipe will bring about the necessary changes in your life that will allow you to live rather than just exist, as you do in active addiction.  

    What Are 12-Step Programs?

    12-step programs are peer support groups that offer a source of community for individuals who have SUDs. These services are open to the public and free of charge. 12-Step programs provide a safe and secure space for the sober community to talk and learn about addiction and sobriety. 

    In these settings, you can express your feelings and emotions instead of suppressing them as you do in addiction. Their aim is to educate and motivate individuals to start and continue their journey of recovery. 12-Step programs are based on and offer support through the Twelve Steps and spiritual principles to take back control of your life and live it to the fullest. Some of these principles include: 

    • Acceptance
    • Honesty
    • Faith
    • Hope
    • Courage
    • Willingness

    The steps based on these principles work in tandem to help you grow and evolve physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Taking the opportunity to challenge yourself with a 12-Step program can start and add to your new sober life. However, maintaining it fully requires more tools and resources.

    Are 12-Step Programs Enough?

    Think of baking a cake and the ingredients required to do so. If all you have are eggs, then you are not going to get the outcome that you are looking for. Sobriety can be viewed in this same way. If all you had to do was admit to having a problem, you would allow the disease to continue to grow while being completely aware of its presence. However, admittance is simply the first step in this recipe. 

    Although 12-Step programs offer a great source of motivation and understanding, you will find that these programs may not be enough. However, these programs, in addition to other community and aftercare programs, make for a well-rounded approach to maintaining recovery.

    Doing the proper research and seeking out resources that can specifically cater to your addiction is how to reach sustainability. No addiction experience is the same. Due to this reality, you must find your own path to a new life and stick to that recipe.

    Other Ways to Maintain Sobriety

    Family and friend support is crucial to maintaining sobriety. Your support system is an impactful foundation that can inspire you to change your life. Involvement of family members and friends can offer a comforting element to your journey that will come with a vast amount of emotions. 

    Inpatient rehab facilities can be just what you need as you are isolated from society and positioned in a space to break free from the chains of addiction. However, this life-changing journey that sobriety takes you on can often feel lonely. Support groups, even outside of 12-Step programs, can offer fellowship and the necessary reminder that you are not alone. 

    Making sober friends and finding new and fun pastimes are also part of a well-balanced sober recipe. Friends who can relate to you and abstain from substance use with you can remove some of the bumps in the road ahead. It is important to create a new sense of normalcy and ways to have fun. 

    Joining a book club, taking up sewing, and even exercising can help you discover different ways to experience joy without using substances. The contentment you thought your addiction was providing was simply a suspension of your disbelief. Substances placed blinders over your eyes, and life, in moments, was like a movie. Often, after coming to, you realize it was a movie you did not truly want to star in. 

    Finding What Works Best for Your Sobriety Maintenance

    Getting sober is not the only requirement to redefine who you are and maintain your sobriety. It is just one step of many. Of all the ways to get help and make the most of the resources provided, you must pocket and use what applies to you and save the rest for others it may be more applicable to. 

    Combining 12-Step program takeaways with other resources that work best for you is a great way to start and maintain your sobriety. As sobriety is getting a fresh start in life and the ability to be the master of your destiny, mastering the recipe for your own sobriety is the key.

    Maintaining sobriety can be a challenge when you don’t know what tools exist that can aid you in your recovery journey. However, there are many tools, and no journey to life change occurs the same way. 12-Step programs are often highly suggested to those managing addiction, but these programs alone may not be enough to fully maintain sobriety. Accessing the other available resources and curating a package specific to where you are in your recovery journey is the best foundation to set for getting and staying sober. Villa Oasis can help if you are seeking information on other services to get or maintain your sobriety. Reach out to us at (323) 739-8673 for more information.

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