Secrets to Getting the Most Out of the 12-Step Program
Since it began in the 1930s, the 12-step program has changed millions of lives for the better. This set of guidelines has helped many individuals overcome their addiction, whether it be drugs, alcohol, or other vices. The 12 step program goes beyond advising individuals to attend an outpatient program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous; but emphasizes the importance of attendance, working with a sponsor, and going through the steps completely.
People who are early in their recovery and don’t know what their next step should be may benefit most from joining a 12-step program for recovery maintenance. Many treatment facilities incorporate some model of the 12-step program, including our drug treatment center in South Florida.
Although the program is a push in the right direction, attending meetings does not guarantee success. It’s important that you work hard to accomplish your personal goals.
So, how can you make the most out of the program? Here, we provide a few suggestions that we have seen work for other individuals.
When you attend the meetings, it’s important to listen to others and hear their stories. It will show that you are not alone in your struggle. Sobriety is a battle, but in these meetings, you have an army.
However, to get the most out of the program, it’s important to give back to the group. Share your own story of addiction. Not only will you better connect with the other members, but participation can also help you to grow. The medical staff at our drug treatment center in South Florida understands that recovery is difficult: spiritually, mentally, and physically. But if you don’t put in the work, you can significantly lessen your chance of success.
Find a Sponsor
Sponsorship is a fundamental part of the 12-step program. You need someone who has been in your shoes and is patient, compassionate, and can provide hope that better days will come. Much like in the meetings, your sponsor will share his/her personal story and experience, and you will do the same. The goal is that, with time, you will feel more confident about recovery and realize that you are not alone.
The sponsor/beneficiary exchange is a relationship, and like with every relationship, you must build trust and be supportive. We have found that the best way to find a good sponsor is to look for someone who has the following attributes:
- Has experience helping others and has been sober for at least one year.
- Is respectful and supportive with a positive attitude.
- Can meet your expectations and can work with you during any time of the day.
- Is not physically attractive to you, and vice versa.
Before you have found a sponsor, and during your sponsorship, remember that the medical staff at our drug treatment center in South Florida will also be there to help you.
Another part of putting in the work to get the most out of the program is to attend meetings consistently. Don’t show up only when you feel like it, as this can result in missing several meetings. You need to participate fully and completely, and that includes having good attendance.
Always Apply the Steps
Every day during your addiction recovery in South Florida, work the 12 steps. This won’t be so hard but it is necessary. Just consider the 12 steps: it talks about faith (whether in a higher power or your fellow man), soul searching, acceptance and humility. We can all benefit from these principles daily so there is no harm in implementing them, even when you are feeling better. If you want to create a few of your own steps, do so. It can only make your recovery more successful.
Those who know, teach. As you go through the 12-step program, you will learn a lot along the way. If you see someone who is new to the program, help to guide them along the right path. Encourage them along their journey. You can also help others outside of the program. You can volunteer or donate to a charity. By helping others, you can find happiness and fulfillment.
The Sands Treatment Center
If you are in recovery from substance addiction or behavioral addiction, contact our drug treatment center in South Florida. Here at The Sands Treatment Center, we have knowledgeable staff available around the clock who have years of experience dealing with addiction treatment and solutions.