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If you’ve decided to pursue substance abuse treatment, congratulations. You’re about to embark on a journey that can get you to the happier, healthier life that you want.

However, you also have some decisions to make about the type of support that you want. And one of the biggest choices you have to consider is whether you want a treatment plan that uses a 12-step philosophy or one that doesn’t.

We’ve put together this blog post to help you make that decision. Keep reading to learn more.

What’s a 12-step Program?

The original 12-step program is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). It was first developed in the 1930s and has since grown into the predominant group-based treatment for people who are struggling with substance abuse.

There are now many different types of 12-step programs to choose from, including Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and others. Though the people that use these groups differ, the philosophies they use are the same.

12-step programs emphasize the following points:

  • A person should admit they are powerless over the substance they’ve been abusing
  • They should believe in a power greater than themselves to restore their sanity
  • They should make a decision to turn their lives over to this greater power as part of their recovery process

How Do Non-12-step Programs Differ?

Non-12-step programs are similar to 12-step programs in some ways and different in others. Let’s start with the similarities.

Like a 12 step program, Non-12-step programs also use group meetings to help people recover from substance abuse. These meetings provide the same community-based support that people get from 12-step programs. The key difference between these two types of treatment is that non-12-step programs don’t ask participants to follow the same dogma that 12-step programs do.

Instead of saying that a person is powerless over their addiction, non-12-step programs say that people do have the power to control their addictions. This self-reliant approach is more appealing for many people.

Additionally, non-12-step programs are usually not religious. You don’t have to believe in a higher power to participate in one. That makes them a better fit for individuals who are agnostic, atheist, or otherwise uninterested in involving a higher power in their substance abuse treatment process.

Picking the Best Option For Your Needs

Both 12-step programs and non-12-step programs can help you get where you want to go with your recovery. Either option will provide you with a community that you can learn from and rely upon for advice and support when you need it most.

The key to picking between these two options is understanding how you feel about the core tenants of 12-step programs. Do you believe in a higher power? It doesn’t necessarily have to be God. It could be your own personal interpretation.

You should also ask yourself how you feel about being asked to admit that you’re powerless over your addiction. Some people believe that and others don’t.

Your answers to these two questions will influence which option is right for you. If you’re looking for a treatment option that doesn’t involve higher powers or admitting that you’re powerless over your addiction, then a non-12-step program is likely the better choice for you.

How Non-12-step Care Fits Into Your Treatment Plan

It’s important to note that neither 12-step programs nor non-12-step ones are stand-alone treatment plans for substance abuse. It’s best to view these types of group-based treatments as a part of a broader plan, instead of as the plan itself.

Your substance abuse recovery process should still begin with detox. This is important because it’s when your body gets whatever is left of the substance that you’ve been abusing out of your system.

After that, you go into your rehab plan. You can choose between residential rehab options, which involve living at a treatment center, or non-residential ones, which let you live at home. This is when you’ll begin participating in either a 12-step program or a non-12-step one.

Finally, once rehab is complete, you’ll move into aftercare. This phase helps you transition your recovery out into the real world. Most people continue going to either 12-step or non-12-step meetings at this stage.

What Non-12-step Care Looks Like at Zoe Behavioral Health

Zoe Behavioral Health offers personalized non-12-step treatment plans. We adjust our plans to meet the unique needs of every individual that we work with.

Working with our experienced mental health professionals while completing our non-12-step program could be just what you need to set yourself up for a lasting recovery.