If you have just left Rehab in Tennessee, you are likely to have made a recovery plan with your rehab counselor about your recovery. On this recovery plan, there will be a list of things you should do and things you should not do.
The things you should not do are likely to include items such as not associating with old using or drinking buddies, not hanging around in places that I used to drink or use, and not keeping around paraphernalia.
The list of things you should do may contain many different items, but one item that is very often under this heading is the attendance of a 12-step recovery group. These meetings can be invaluable to both people in early recovery, and people who have a longer time in Tennessee for recovery.
There is a wide range of recovery approaches out there, but the most trust and widely-used approach with more than 70% of rehabs in Tennessee taking part, is the 12-step recovery model.
Many rehabs in Tennessee use 12-step programs as they are evidence-based. Over the years, research has shown that the 12-step approach to recovery can help patients to abstain from the use of drugs and alcohol.
Before we dive into why the 12-step recovery approach works, let’s take a look at how the approach started and what it is.
The 12-step program originated in 1938 as Part of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). The program owes much of its foundation to a man named Bill Wilson. He had been struggling with alcoholism when he developed an idea that people who are dealing with addiction might be positively affected by sharing stories and information with one another.
The steps were further developed through concepts and teachings he came across, including a six-step program that came from an organization that was Christian in nature and known as the Oxford Group. The Christian influence formed the idea that seeking help from a greater power, as well as leaning on peers who are dealing with similar issues, could lead to recovery from addiction. Wilson wrote his ideas down in a book now known as the Big Book, which would later go on to be the model for the entire program.
The 12 steps are:
- Admitting powerlessness over the addiction
- Believing that a higher power (in whatever form) can help
- Deciding to turn control over to the higher power
- Taking a personal inventory
- Admitting to the higher power, oneself, and another person the wrongs done
- Being ready to have the higher power correct any shortcomings in one’s character
- Asking the higher power to remove those shortcomings
- Making a list of wrongs done to others and being willing to make amends for those wrongs
- Contacting those who have been hurt, unless doing so would harm the person
- Continuing to take personal inventory and admitting when one is wrong
- Seeking enlightenment and connection with the higher power via prayer and meditation
- Carrying the message of the 12 Steps to others in need
Though the 12 steps were originally founded from a Christian standpoint, there are also other variations of the 12-step recovery program which are available for people who are uncomfortable with religious beliefs of affiliations.
Why is the model successful?
Research has shown that people who take part in 12-step programs decrease their use of drugs and alcohol compared to those who do not attend self-help groups. Treating patients with similar problems in a group setting is likely the most effective form of treatment.
A recent article from the Addiction Research and Theory journal states that those who abstain from substances completely have better, longer-term mental health outcomes than those who continue to use drugs or drink alcohol.
12-step recovery resources
The most popular 12-step programs, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), host meetings in the US every day. Every city in the US has several 12-step groups, and 12-step groups can even be found in small towns.
Now, with the covid-19 pandemic, some meetings have been closed for reasons of safety. This has caused problems for recovering addicts and alcoholics who wish to continue attending meetings. To help with this, 12-step meetings have now been springing up online, and often use the “Zoom” application.
While online groups may not provide quite the same feeling that meeting in person does, they have the advantage of meaning that you can attend any online 12-step group of your choosing, anywhere in the world.