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12-Step Programs: Definition, Usage, How It works, 12 Steps, Pros and Cons, Effectiveness.

Our 12-Step Addiction Treatment Program in Ohio

If you or your loved one needs quality substance use disorder (SUD) treatment in Ohio, it is important to choose the best program. Look for a facility with an excellent track record of successful SUD treatment results.
Since SUD is a chronic and progressive disease, the program offered at your chosen facility should address all your spiritual, psychological, and physical needs. In Ohio, the most common rehab treatment program is the 12-step program. 
This program was developed by Alcoholics Anonymous and has existed for over 85 years. It is based on support groups composed of current and recovered addicts who encourage one another, give members hope, and provide healthy interactions. The group members help each other follow the 12 steps to maintain sobriety.

What is the 12-Step Addiction Treatment Program?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) created the 12-step addiction treatment program to help people struggling with alcohol use recover from their addiction. 
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Today, this program is used by people suffering from other addictions, including those addicted to marijuana, narcotics, and cocaine. Depending on the drug you are addicted to, you can join groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Cocaine Anonymous (CA). All of these treatment programs follow the same 12-step recovery ideology.

When you start this program, senior members will volunteer to become sponsors, those willing to help you by sharing their experiences and guiding you on how to follow the 12-step program. You select a sponsor who you feel will be a good fit for you, and it’s important to choose carefully since you will be spending a lot of time with this person. Your sponsor will provide personal guidance as you work your way through the 12 steps of drug addiction recovery, which are outlined below.

1. Honesty: Admitting You Are Powerless

Being honest with yourself that you have an addiction problem is the first step. This also helps your family and friends address that you have a substance use disorder.
This first step is the hardest because many addicts live in denial. They think they are fine because addiction may have disrupted their brain circuitry and chemistry, especially the parts associated with reward and motivation.
The first step also requires you to accept that you are powerless as far as alcohol or drugs are concerned, that you cannot control your drug use or drinking problem, and that your motivation and willpower cannot help you stop using drugs or drinking alcohol. Further, you must admit that your life has become unbearable or unmanageable because of your drug use problem.
Step one isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it is an essential starting point. After recognizing that you have a problem, you can move on to the next steps in this program.

2. Faith: Believing in a Higher Power Than Yourself

After admitting that your addiction is stronger than your willpower, the next step is to believe that a power greater than your willpower exists. This spiritual part of the 12-step program suggests that you believe in a higher power. Of course, you are free to choose what or who to believe in as your higher power.
Some AA members turn to organized religion to find their belief in a higher power, but many people focus on a more abstract, personal version. The aim of step two is to help you accept that you need supernatural help with your recovery.

3. Surrender: Turn Your Life Over to God

Once you believe there is an external power greater than your own and that this power can help you stop drinking or using drugs, the program suggests surrendering your life to that higher power. Recognize the fact that you have tried to stop using drugs but failed. Surrender is a key part of recovery. The famous Serenity Prayer forms a strong foundation for step three of this recovery program.

4. Soul Searching: Take Moral Inventory of Your Life

Taking a moral inventory of your life means that you take a look at your life and acknowledge how that drinking or drug use has affected you and others. It is easy to forget that your friends, family, colleagues, and employers often pay a price because of your addiction.
When soul-searching, you must be fearless and comprehensive. You have to be honest enough to recognize your shortcomings and how you have hurt others. It is advisable to write down the people you have wronged and how you have hurt them.
Creating this list is the vital part of step four. You are called upon to cite past experiences, feelings, thoughts, and incidents, some of which can be embarrassing. As you work on this list, you will realize how your decisions have made you cross many people’s paths. 
This step is very emotional as your eyes can now open and see how your addiction has affected your spouse and children. Step four can take a long time, and you may need to pray and get encouragement from your sponsor and other group members.

5. Integrity and Confession: Admitting Mistakes

Listing your wrongdoings alone isn’t enough. You must take the next step by confessing your sins or errors. Admit to God, or your higher power, that you made the mistakes, and ask for forgiveness. Then, choose someone you trust, and confess your sins to them.
During your drinking and drug use years, you were likely isolated from society. Step five is supposed to reconcile you with society to start life anew. This activity will humble you, but the good news is that it will leave you feeling cleansed emotionally.

6. Acceptance: Prepare Yourself for a Higher Power to Remove Your Defects

The sixth step is about accepting yourself for who you are and allowing a higher power, such as God, to eliminate your defects. You can pray and ask God to remove the defective issues in your life. This step requires you to understand that you often derive pleasure from your own sins and flaws, so getting rid of them is an uphill task. 
Since you have reached this step, you must trust in yourself with the help of your higher power. For this step to be practical, you can list down all your moral defects alongside positive statements to provide you with new methods to help with your recovery. The aim of step six is to help you let go of your past and start a new life with no character defects.

7. Humility: Ask the Higher Power to Remove Your Shortcomings

Step seven is all about humility. Here, you will seek the will of God concerning how you should live your life and ask him to remove the shortcomings you listed in the previous step. This requires you to realize the power of God in your life and acknowledge that you need a higher power in your recovery journey. 
Your humility should not come from regret for your failures or sufferings, but it should come voluntarily. The most critical tool in the seventh step is meditation, which will help you look introspectively and learn how to live a life of humility. 

8. Willingness: List Your Wrongs and Be Ready to Make Amendments

For step eight, you must be willing to reconcile with the people you have wronged. Start the process by listing them. You are encouraged to be as honest as possible when creating the list of those you have harmed directly or indirectly. Be careful not to overlook or undermine any mistake you make, no matter how small. The point of this step is to relieve you of past resentments and develop positive relationships. Since you have forgiven yourself, you also need to seek other people’s forgiveness. 

9. Forgiveness: Make Direct Amends

The ninth step requires you to ask for forgiveness directly from the people you wronged. So, you must have the courage to approach them, apologize, and ask for their forgiveness. Choose a trusted person to accompany you as you go to those you have wronged to assist with reconciliation. Understandably, some of these people may still be angry with you. Showing true remorse and explaining that you are willing to change will go a long way in earning people’s forgiveness.

However, when confessing your wrongdoings to other people, don’t bring up issues that can further hurt them and lead to family breakups, fights, or injuries. Remember that in step nine you apologize for what you did under the influence of alcohol or drugs and for the harm your addiction caused. If possible, be willing to offer indemnity as you seek reconciliation and forgiveness, even though some people will not accept it. This step is very important in reconnecting you with society. 

10. Maintenance: Continue Taking Personal Inventory and Admitting Your Wrongdoings

Step 10 recognizes that you can never be perfect and still make mistakes. It requires that you be accountable for your daily actions. Whenever you make a mistake or hurt someone, you must be willing to admit the wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness.

Recovery from addiction isn’t a one-day affair, so you must continue examining your actions, behaviors, words, and thoughts. It means you will be taking a daily inventory of your life, correcting any wrongs immediately. Step 10 will help you make a habit of being more aware of yourself and your behaviors. It is a personal reflection to keep your emotional balance.

11. Making Contact: Improve Your Contact With God and Do the Right Things

You must maintain contact with God through self-examination, meditation, and prayers. Your spiritual life will be strengthened when you are in tune with yourself emotionally and physically. Once you complete Step 11, you will develop a sense of belonging and understand that your God watches over and loves you. In this step, you are supposed to keep praying for knowledge, the will of God, and the energy to carry out God’s will in your life. 

12. Service: Carry the Message of Recovery to Others and Continue Practicing Recovery Principles

Recognizing that the best way to maintain your sobriety is by helping those still struggling with drug addiction is the key to this step. It’s like you are giving back to society. You will be taught to share your spiritual experience with others and help them recover after they come to rely on a higher power, such as God. 
Since you have been an addict, sharing your struggles and testimonies will encourage and give hope to other addicts. Step 12 adds purpose to your life. It makes you feel useful. A sense of happiness occurs when you see others regaining their feet as a result of your testimonies. 

You should take the 12-step addiction treatment program voluntarily without coercion. Once you successfully complete step one, the other steps will be easier to follow. 

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    Does the 12-Step Addiction Treatment Program Work?

    The research and figures show that AA is a thriving social group built on the 12-step recovery program. It works successfully because it is voluntary. If you are struggling with addiction and need a facility offering the 12-step program in Ohio, consider White Light Behavioral Health in Columbus. We are here to help you overcome your addiction.
Ryan Wakim MD
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Dr. Wakim is a board-certified psychiatrist with a passion for and expertise in addiction, mood disorders, trauma-related disorders and the subspecialty of interventional psychiatry. He obtained his medical degree from West Virginia University where he also completed his residency training, finishing as chief resident. Dr. Wakim co-founded and served as the CEO of Transformations leading to a successful merger with Shore Capital in May 2021. He is purpose driven towards improving the standard of and removing stigma related to behavioral healthcare. Dr. Wakim enjoys golf, traveling and time spent with his two dogs, Lulu and Rayna.

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If you or a loved one is grappling with addiction, don’t face it alone. White Light Behavioral Health is here to guide you on the path to recovery. With a compassionate team and a proven approach, we’re dedicated to helping you reclaim your life. Reach out to White Light Behavioral Health today and take the first step towards a brighter, addiction-free future. Your journey to healing begins with a single call. Please reach out to us today at (844) 297-3995 to book your appointment! And start your healing journey at our convenient facility.

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