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Published On: Fri, Apr 19th, 2019

How Non 12 Step Drug Rehab is Different

Although the 12 step approach to substance abuse recovery is probably the best known, it is not for everyone. One of the main differences between the traditional model of recovery support and other modern day non 12 step rehab alternatives is that 12-step sees addiction as being the “primary problem”. In other words, the traditional view is that a person’s problems result from their addiction to substances and just quitting drugs is sufficient to help them recover.

Conversely, the non-12 step recovery programs look at addiction is a very different way. Non-12 step recovery programs are based on the belief that although dependence plays an important part, there are also underlying issues driving it that need to be identified and addressed in order to truly recover from the illness. In this article, we try and expand on the difference by providing a simplified medical analogy.

Say for example you fell and broke your ankle. You would almost certainly make your way to the doctor but imagine if they didn’t examine your ankle or dress it, instead simply prescribing painkillers and sending you home. Although you would feel more comfortable with the pain of the break, it wouldn’t be fixing the problem itself which requires setting and dressing the bone for healthy repair.

photo/ pixabay user lechenie-narkomanii

Although painkillers deal with the initial problem, the underlying issue of the break has not been addressed by the doctor in this case. Therefore the immediate problem has been dealt with although the likelihood of complications developing further down the line is heightened. This analogy can be applied to addiction illness in that unless the underlying issues are dealt with, long-term recovery is not likely to be achievable.

The Motivation is Different

However, there is more than addressing the issues underlying addiction that separates non-12 step recovery programs from the alternative approach. Traditional 12 step depends on the belief in a Higher Power and promotes submission to this entity or being to allow the individual to receive help to overcome substance abuse. This religious-based system believes that people with addiction are powerless to help themselves and must call on their Higher Power for help in achieving and maintaining sobriety.

Non 12 step recovery programs are very different in this respect as it is based on the belief that a person is not defined by their addiction illness and that they are accountable for their actions. The alternative approach believes that a person is only capable of overcoming their addiction when they accept full responsibility for their own recovery. By instilling a belief that a person is powerless to help themselves, non 12 step drug rehab specialists feel that individuals are let off the hook in terms of identifying the reasons behind their addictive behavior.

Non 12 step rehab is designed to empower individuals to help themselves overcome substance abuse and achieve sobriety because no-one else can do it for them. Through offering therapeutic support to motivate change, individuals are able to work out their own motivations to overcome addiction, thus promoting more lasting results.

Non 12 Step Rehab: An Alternative Treatment Plan

12 Step is a highly structure approach to addiction recovery that requires all members to work through the steps in chronological order. There is no flexibility in the traditional methodology to allow for individual preferences which can be very limiting for people wishing to overcome substance abuse. The lack of flexibility of 12 step means that if a member does not progress at the expected pace or experiences setbacks, they are likely to be blamed for their failure. This is largely due to the conviction that 12 step programs are infallible, a common belief among the majority of followers.

Traditional 12 step programs tend to blame the individual for their addiction issues which can alienate them at a time when they already feel at a low point in their lives. Non 12 step drug rehab places much more emphasis on the individual needs of clients in rehab, taking into account their personal preferences when devising a treatment program. This approach is in stark contrast to the traditional methodology which views addiction as a moral issue.

Highly Individualized Programs that Address Underlying Issues

In essence, the difference between non 12 step drug rehab and the traditional approach is that programs are personalized after considerable assessment and evaluation of each client. It takes time to understand the reasons behind a person’s initial need or desire to use substances. Indeed, there is an expanding demographic of addicts who were initially prescribed highly addictive opioid medications and are developing addictions as a result.

For this latest type of addict, the 12 step approach has little relevance. This is mainly because initial substance use was not for pleasure-seeking reasons but as a result of following physicians’ instructions. This completely removes any element of morality from the person’s addiction and actually reinforces that it is an illness that can be treated. It also emphasizes that the traditional 12 step approach may not be as relevant to modern times as it may have been when it was founded in the 1930s.

Author: Isabella David

Isabella is a freelance content writer and blogger. She has a keen interest in writing about health-related news. In her free time, she loves to play with her cute dog.

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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