The traditional 12-step support group / recovery programs for drugs and alcohol have been around for more than 70 years. As an alcohol rehabilitation program, Alcoholics Anonymous has been around since the late 1930′s. Even though the premise on which the 12-step approach was created was well intended, it has not led to many people successfully recovering from their alcohol and drug addiction. The problem is that the traditional 12-step program assumes that everyone has the same experience and reason behind alcohol and drug addiction. That is why everyone sits around in a circle and receives the same treatment – because these 12-step programs do not recognize that every individual has their own treatment goals and unique drug rehab needs.
12-step programs give people excuses
Whether people realize it or not, the traditional 12-step program tells people that they are sick with an incurable disease. The important thing to remember about accepting this (or rejecting it rather) is that there is no scientific basis for this statement whatsoever. There has never been any scientific study that suggests that a person is incurable in relates to addiction. Suggesting that a person has an incurable disease already sets them up to fail.
After all, why not use drugs or consume alcohol? You have an incurable disease – it is not your fault. There is no denying that battling addiction may be the hardest thing a person ever has to do in their lifetime, but suggesting that it is something that they cannot combat is not going to motivate anyone.
Power leads to success
When you empower someone, like non 12-step drug rehab does, you are giving him or her instruments and guidance to succeed without making them feel helpless. That is why the percentage of success for those that enroll in a non 12-step drug rehab program is much greater when compared to the traditional 12-step programs. Non 12-step drug rehab programs have reported success rates of upwards of 70%, this is a number that a traditional program cannot even remotely come close to.
Aside from the fact that it makes people feel weak and helpless, there is also the problem that traditional programs only provide guidance during designated times. If the only time a person is battling addiction is between five and seven every Thursday evening, sitting in a circle discussing their problems may actually help. However, addiction is not wrapped up in a neat little package. Oftentimes the craving to use drugs or consume alcohol rages at inconvenient times. If you give people the tools and the life skills to increase their own responsibility and control over their addiction, they do not need the approval of others.
Addiction is like snowflakes…sort of
To assume that one-size fits all when it comes to addiction is the reason that traditional treatment often fails. Some people made a mistake experimenting with drugs or alcohol and became dependent on the rush it provides – others only take drugs or alcohol to numb emotional pain. Non 12-step drug rehab provides therapy and individualized counseling that focuses on the individual. This gets to the emotional root of the addiction rather than just telling someone that they have a disease. This provides people with the ability to break the cycle and to banish addiction from their lives.