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Alternatives to 12-step programs

Alcohol and drug abuse are highly dangerous and very common. Roughly 14.5 million people in the United States struggle with an alcohol addiction, and an estimated 95,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year. There have been 700,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States in the last twenty years.

Twelve-step programs were created to help people move past their addictions and rebuild their lives to be more healthy and fulfilling. Alcoholics Anonymous, which started in the 1930s, was the first twelve-step program, and many people were able to achieve recovery by following its principles. Because of the success of Alcoholics Anonymous, many other twelve-step programs were created, including Narcotics Anonymous and Gamblers anonymous.

While the traditional twelve-step program is an option that works for many people, it is not the only option for people struggling with addiction and looking for support. There are many reasons the twelve-step program might not be the right fit for you. Some people feel they need more support than these programs can provide. Some twelve-step programs include a spiritual or religious focus, and many people feel this does not align with their beliefs.

Every person is unique, and it’s important to find the support that best meets your needs while you work toward addiction recovery. That’s why it’s always a good idea to research all your options. Here are a few alternatives to the traditional twelve-step addiction recovery program:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, often referred to as CBT, is a strategy for treating various mental health disorders including addiction. During CBT, individuals challenge their problematic beliefs and build awareness of the connections between their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Often, individuals work with a therapist who specializes in CBT to understand how their feelings and beliefs lead to substance abuse. The increased awareness helps people to change their behaviors.

CBT also helps many people treat mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, or eating disorders. These disorders are commonly occurring in individuals suffering from a substance abuse disorder. In many cases, treating the underlying mental health condition makes it much easier to reach a full recovery from an addiction.

Individuals interested in treating their addiction through CBT can work with a professional through regular in-person or virtual meetings. This type of therapy can also be combined with inpatient or outpatient addiction recovery programs. If you believe CBT would be helpful in your addiction recovery and you’re also looking into inpatient or outpatient treatment programs, before choosing a program, be sure to ask if there are any professionals trained in CBT on staff.

Peer Support Groups

A peer support group is a group of people who have struggled with similar addictions who come together to discuss the experience while supporting each other in their commitment to recovery. Many twelve-step programs include a peer support group. However, there are also addiction recovery peer support groups that don’t follow the twelve-step method.

Peer support groups are highly effective in helping people overcome their addictions. The connections built-in peer support groups are often very meaningful and long-lasting. Many people meet life-long friends in peer support groups, and these friends help keep each other accountable in their long-term sobriety.

Support groups can be encouraging for members in all stages of addiction recovery. Many people find it helpful to see others who are further along in their recovery journey because it allows them to visualize reaching that point as well. It can also be very fulfilling once you are further along in your recovery to be a role model for others who are just starting their recovery journey.

Outpatient Treatment Programs

Outpatient treatment programs are perfect for individuals who need more medical support while working toward recovery. Most outpatient programs have trained medical professionals as part of their staff so they can offer guidance for your physical and mental health needs.

Outpatient treatment is useful for people who want to avoid disruption to their daily lives. Many people prefer to continue going to work, helping with their families, and attending to other responsibilities in their lives. An outpatient program offers more support than a twelve-step program or a peer support group, but it is a smaller time commitment than inpatient treatment, making it easier for some people to fit into their lives.

Outpatient treatment is best for people who have strong support at home and in their social circles. If your at-home environment or other areas of your life make it difficult for you to give up drugs or alcohol, you may want to consider spending some time at an inpatient treatment center.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehabilitation has all of the medical support that outpatient treatment programs provide, but it offers 24/7 support while working toward addiction recovery. Inpatient programs are helpful for individuals with severe addictions who may experience difficult withdrawal symptoms in the early stages of recovery. The medical support staff at inpatient rehab centers support patients’ physical needs while experiencing difficult withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient treatment is an especially good option for individuals living in circumstances that increase their risk of continued substance abuse. If drugs and alcohol are easily accessible in the home or at work, it can be helpful to take a break from being in those situations.

If the people in an individual’s social circle make it more difficult for a person in recovery to avoid substance abuse, inpatient rehab allows you to break the addiction away from those temptations. Inpatient rehab helps patients build coping mechanisms for avoiding drugs and alcohol when it’s time to leave the treatment program.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, the sooner you find treatment options, the better. If you’re unsure which treatment option is the best fit, an experienced professional can guide you. Our staff can provide a free consultation to determine the best support for you or your loved one while on the journey to recovery. Reach out to the staff at Jackson House Recovery Centers to discuss your needs and options for treatment.

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