Five Reasons a Non 12-Step Program Is the Answer For Those Struggling with Addiction

Learn how to redefine your addiction and discover new ideas that can help you reinvent your journey towards recovery.

Since 1938, the 12-step program has been a widely used means of treating both alcohol and drug addictions. Bill Wilson was the man responsible for creating this set of rules, which was popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous. The rules were published in the Big Book, which is still relied on by some rehab programs today.

The 12-step program relinquishes power from the hands of the addict and instead unnecessarily forces what feels like blame on them. This may work for some addiction treatment programs, but here at Elevate Addiction Services, a holistic recovery center, we don’t use any such programs.

Part of understanding addiction is knowing that blame and helplessness have no place in recovery. That’s why Elevate Addiction Services follows a non-12-step program known as SMART Recovery.

Still not convinced? Here are five reasons that those struggling with alcohol and drug addiction should consider a non-12-step program such as ours.

1. Our Program Is About Self-Reliance and Self-Empowerment

Someone who is addicted to alcohol or drugs is already likely to be more antisocial, hiding their addiction because they’re ashamed of who they’ve become. They don’t need more blame when they’re just trying to get help.

Part of the SMART Recovery Approach at Elevate Addiction Services is about showing our patients techniques and tools so they can eventually become reliant and empowered to get clean. We want to see our patients excel, so that means boosting them up when they’re at their lowest.

2. Our Holistic Care Programs Are Spiritual, Mentally, and Physically Fulfilling

Elevate Addiction Services is a holistic recovery center, so we nourish the spirit, mind, emotions, and the body. Holistic care is at the heart of what we do, and that’s part of what makes our facility a better alternative to many other rehab options.

Through mindfulness practices, aromatherapy, music and art therapy, healthier eating, personal counseling and behavioral therapy, and group exercises such as yoga, CrossFit, volleyball, basketball, and hiking the mountains of the Bay Area, our natural treatment aides patients through withdrawal and guides them towards sobriety.

3. We Know Rehab Isn’t the Same Experience for Everyone

Every single patient who comes to Elevate Addiction Services does not have the same addiction. Some are addicted to alcohol while others are using different types of drugs. The length of time someone has been using also plays a role in the severity of their addiction.

To put each addict in the same program and expect the same results—sobriety—doesn’t make sense. Some patients require longer treatment than a 12-step program allows for, but they may feel pressured to attempt to get sober within the time constraints of the program. No wonder sobriety doesn’t always stick.

While some patients that partake in our inpatient rehab attend the program for 30 days, others require a lengthier stay. We accommodate those patients, too. Sobriety happens more quickly for some than it does others for a whole multitude of reasons. That’s part of understanding addiction.

We don’t push our patients out because a certain amount of days have passed. We work with them until they reach their goal: sobriety.

4. We Discover the Cause of Addiction

While AA’s 12-step program does identify there’s a reason for addiction, the program doesn’t delve into it any further than that. Instead, the many of the rules are about atoning for wrongdoings from addiction.

With our personalized counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy, our counselors at Elevate Addiction Services strive to pinpoint various factors that began this addiction. This is different for each patient, but some common themes are childhood trauma, marriage problems, job loss, reaction to death or loss, and financial issues.

This is part of why some of our patients stay for up to 90 days at our inpatient facility. It takes time to go through withdrawal and then feel comfortable enough to open up to a counselor.

5. Our Aftercare Promotes Accountability

Part of understanding addiction is knowing that patients shouldn’t be turned loose after they leave the holistic addiction treatment center. With our aftercare services, one of our staff members—typically a counselor—will stay in touch with the patient once they go back home.

Through consistent phone calls over several months or longer, our staff will check in with the patient about how they’re managing at home and whether they’re staying sober. That sense of accountability can help the patient feel responsible for maintaining their sobriety and thus their new lives.