Reasons a 12-Step Program Might not be Right

Here are just Five Reasons that a Twelve-Step Program
Might not be Right for You.


The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University published a report in 2012 that stated, “The research evidence clearly demonstrates that a one-size-fits-all approach to addiction treatment typically is a recipe for failure.”

Twelve-step programs were considered the gold standard for substance abuse recovery for eighty years, and yet for many people, they just didn’t work. Is there a solution for those who have unsuccessfully tried multiple Twelve-step programs? Is the inability to stay sober the fault of the individual? Could or should other options be considered?

Since its inception, in 1935, thousands of people have found and maintained sobriety by following the Twelve-step method. Those individuals are to be applauded and are most likely grateful to the methodology that helped them find sobriety. Unfortunately, during that same time span, countless others were unable to maintain sobriety.


Those who have repeatedly failed to find sobriety through the Twelve-step program
often have sound reasons why it did not resonate with them:


  1. Many do not believe or accept the lifelong label of being called an alcoholic or addict.
  2. Several object to the notion of being powerless. Addiction steals power from people and some dream of getting relief from powerlessness and to becoming the captain of their ship.
  3. The necessity to rely on a higher power to restore sanity and remove shortcomings.
  4. The expectation and reliance of continually attending meetings.
  5. The continuous demand to rehash and review an often painful past.

Many who have unsuccessfully attended multiple Twelve-step treatment facilities don’t realize that, in reality, they have only attended one program, only one. The only thing that changed might be the therapist and building, along with maybe some activities such as ropes course, equine therapy, etc. The core program is the same.

Many people believe that when a person unsuccessfully attends multiple programs that he/she just doesn’t want to get better. These people innocently did not realize that the individual really actually only attended one program at different facilities and that the Twelve-step program just wasn’t a good fit for their loved one. Fortunately, for those trapped in the revolving door of addiction treatment centers, there are alternative programs that may meet their needs and be in alignment with their belief systems. It is recommended that those searching for an effective alternative program do their due diligence and find a treatment solution that is right for them or their loved one. The search, along with you or your loved one, is worth it.


If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction call us at 855-433-4480 for more information about how
Gulf Breeze Recovery could help you or your loved ones today.


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