If you or your loved one are affected by addiction, a comprehensive treatment plan can help you recover. A well-designed plan provides multiple forms of support for your goal of stable sobriety. The core elements of an effective recovery are typically psychotherapy and/or medication. In addition, effective plans often include a 12-step program. Programs of this type rely on a mutual self-help model to reinforce substance abstinence. They are known to boost your odds of meeting your sobriety goals.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Fort Behavioral Health at 844.332.1807 for more information about the 12-step program and other addiction treatment services we offer.

What Is a Mutual Self-Help Group?

Mutual self-help groups for addiction are peer-to-peer organizations. As a rule, they’re not led by addiction specialists. Instead, they’re run by people who are engaged in ongoing drug or alcohol recovery.

In the typical group, a heavy emphasis is placed on supportive communication. Members talk about their recovery experiences. They also share the sobriety maintenance skills they’ve learned over time. In addition, the typical self-help group makes use of a sponsorship model.

When newcomers enter the group, a more experienced peer sponsors them and acts as a kind of guide. This personalized guidance adds another crucial layer of sobriety support.

Participation in a mutual self-help group can benefit you in a variety of ways. Common advantages include:

  • A welcoming forum for sharing your own recovery challenges and experiences
  • Access to positive examples of successful sobriety attempts
  • Peer support in moments of personal crisis

Membership in a self-help group also tends to make you feel more accountable for your substance-related behaviors.

What Is the 12-Step Program Model?

A 12-step program is a specific type of mutual self-help group. Programs of this type get their name from their basic organizing principle. This principle breaks the process of addiction recovery down into twelve steps or actions:

  • Admitting that you have no power over the addiction affecting you
  • Acknowledging the reality of a power greater than you
  • Turning to that power for help in your recovery
  • Thoroughly assessing your situation with what’s known as a moral inventory
  • Admitting the things you’ve done to harm yourself and others
  • Being prepared to heal these harms
  • Asking your particular higher power for the strength to heal
  • Listing all those you’ve harmed while addicted to drugs or alcohol
  • Taking the steps needed to amend, or make up for, those harms
  • Continuing to conduct moral inventories and admit to any lapses
  • Staying in contact with your higher power
  • Helping others find hope in their struggles with addiction

The classic example of a 12-step group is Alcoholics Anonymous. There are also similar organizations for other forms of addiction.

What is the 12-Step Program Model’s Level of Effectiveness?

Mutual self-help groups are widely acknowledged for their ability to further your substance recovery. That’s true for groups that follow a 12-step model. It’s also true for groups based on other guiding principles. You can participate in a 12-step group without enrolling in drug or alcohol rehab. However, research shows that these groups work best when combined with formal substance treatment. This helps explain why most rehab facilities will encourage you to join a 12-step program or similar group.

Get More Information on 12-Step Programs at Fort Behavioral Health

Have more questions about 12-step groups or other mutual self-help options? Talk to the professionals at Fort Behavioral Health. We’re happy to explain how these recovery support groups work. We’re also happy to outline their many benefits for your short- and long-term sobriety.

Fort Behavioral Health features a 12-step program as part of our full slate of rehab services. With our help, you can smoothly integrate this vital form of peer support into your overall treatment plan. To learn more, just call us today at 844.332.1807 or fill out our online form.


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You don’t have to face the journey of recovery by yourself. There are people out there ready to help with what you’re going through. Reach out to someone for support today.

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