Alternatives to 12 step programs
Oct 2013

Individuals who do not want to deal with the implications and experiences provided by 12 step programs may be interested in some of the alternatives that exist. Since not everyone is able to benefit from a 12 step program, seeking an alternative may be the best way to ensure that individuals can receive different forms of treatment and methods for dealing with their struggle with addiction. 12 step programs are so popular, many people don’t even realize that there are alternatives available. Here are some suggestions to help promote awareness.

A lot of alternative methods are more focused in different forms of expression and therapy. Some alternative methods believe that people get the most benefit from overcoming addiction if they are involved with constant group therapy and sharing their private emotions. It can help the individual to gain more insight into the motives behind their addiction and the feelings that lead them to participate in substance abuse. It can also show them that there are other people who are experiencing the same problems and that they are not alone in their struggle.

Other forms of alternative treatment may suggest that the individual should completely get away from the environment that they typically live in. These are programs where addicts are taken out to areas that are in the country side or areas that are away from major cities. The participants are encouraged to embrace healthier lifestyles such as doing detoxes, eating healthier foods, exercising more, participating in yoga, and doing other activities that may provide them with ways to focus their energy and emotions towards productive options instead of substance abuse.

There are also alternative programs which focus more on spirituality. For people who are addicted but are from a religious background, this may be helpful because they learn how to deal with their addiction based on elements from their own religion. There are programs for a variety of different religious backgrounds and also for those who are spiritual but not considered to be ‘religious’. This may be a comfortable alternative because it encourages the addict to dwell on a higher power or a cause greater than their issues and emotions found within themselves; it may also encourage inner peace and self acceptance.

Ultimately, the amount of alternatives that exist to the traditional 12 step programs reflect that there are many different ways to acknowledge and treat addiction in its many forms. For someone who has gone through a 12 step program and didn’t benefit from it or those who feel as if these programs may not fit into their needs, alternatives can be a great way to find another source of treatment and find an answer to the questions and concerns posed by addiction. If you have any questions about some of the alternatives available in your area, searching the internet or talking with a counselor or social worker may be able to point you in the right direction towards alternative methods available.


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