Best Practices – 12 Step Recovery Programs

12 step recovery programs were initially created for those suffering with an addiction to alcohol. The first incarnation, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), used the same basic ideas used in many other 12 step programs. The founders of AA found the most effective means in achieving long lasting sobriety was through sharing stories, successes and pain with other individuals going through the addiction treatment process. If you are considering 12 step programs as a way to help combat an addiction, the entry below will provide you with a few tips to help you get the most of your involvement.

Step 1 – Gather any necessary information pertaining to the meetings you will attend well in advance to avoid any obstacles that could possibly keep you from attending. While making the initial decision to attend these meetings is a wonderful step forward, addicts are not necessarily well known for their follow through. A basic online search or community yellow pages should be able to provide you with the information you require.

Step 2 – Call up a trusted friend or relative and ask them to accompany you to the meeting. Determine which meeting best suits your schedule and location, while making any necessary transportation arrangements well in advance.

Step 3 – Attend your first meeting. Though you are not required to participate, first-time attendees are encouraged to stand before the group and introduce themselves. If you find yourself uncomfortable with the meeting you have chosen, it’s never too late to select a different time or location. Locating a meeting that you are comfortable attending is key to your success within the program.  If at first you do not succeed… try, try again.

Step 4 – Once you’ve found a 12 step program addiction meeting that suits your schedule an taste, the next step is getting yourself a sponsor. Sponsors are individuals within the 12-step program who have significant amounts of sobriety time and reflect the type of recovery you are looking for. Your sponsor will act as a sobriety support, and someone you can contact when you’re feeling tempted to use. They will discuss the situation with you, while holding you accountable for your actions. Locating a sponsor takes little more than asking.

Step 5 – Those looking to receive the full benefit of the program must utilize all of the available tools found therein. This includes, sponsors, meetings, phones, and of course, the 12 steps themselves. Those who attend meetings will be provided with contact information for others to call when the need arises. Use these contacts to help alleviate boredom and feelings of isolation that can commonly trigger the want to use.

Step 6 – Keep an open mind. Recovery is a life long struggle for many people. By opening yourself up to the recovery process in a positive manner, you stand the best chance for enjoying the happy, fulfilling and sober lifestyle you’re after.

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