Why Do I Need a 12-Step Program?

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People have been struggling with alcoholism and addiction for as long as alcohol and addictive substances have existed. Over the years, many treatments were devised and attempted. The remedies available to alcoholics just a few decades ago would seem barbaric by today’s standards. In this era of quick fixes, there may be less horrific approaches to solving alcoholism and addiction — but not all of them are for real. While different methods may work for different people and 12-Step programs do not have a monopoly on solutions or spiritual programs of action, what 12-Step programs do have is a pretty long history of helping others.

The 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have been around for a long time, roughly 85 years. Way back then, most alcoholics were given intense sedatives and locked up in asylums or prisons. Addicts were mostly sent to jail or left to go it alone. There may be some dude in Malibu who says he recently discovered the cure to alcoholism, and it may even work for some people, but you’ll want to make sure it’s about helping save lives and not making a quick dollar. 

With 12-Step programs, we already know that — it isn’t about money, and it isn’t a fad. The 12-Steps have helped so many alcoholics and addicts lead fulfilling, happy lives in recovery.

Finding the Right Solution for You

Is a 12-Step program the only way to recover? This question isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Each of us is unique in many ways, though we bond over the common disease of alcoholism and addiction. Some hard drinkers or users may be able to relate to our disease, but they can find good reasons or other methods of quitting drinking, using, addictive substances or otherwise behaving destructively on their own. They don’t really need a 12-Step program. 

There are other ways to treat heavy drinking and using, but if you think you’re an alcoholic or an addict, the 12-Steps may be your best bet. This is very personal business, and it requires an incredibly open, honest, and thoroughly deep look into ourselves to really answer this question. If you think you’re a real alcoholic or addict and you’re ready for a solution, odds are good that your life-saving answer is waiting for you.

You need a 12-Step program for the same reasons we all do — because we are dying to quit drinking and using, and we simply cannot do it on our own. Maybe we’ve tried to stop once, twice, or a hundred times before, and we just can’t. Perhaps we’ve tried two, three, or 50 different approaches to stopping and couldn’t make any of them stick. We need a 12-Step program because we have admitted to ourselves that we are alcoholics and addicts, and we need help. We need to recover from this hopeless state of body and mind. The 12-Step program of recovery is a design for living that really works for alcoholics and addicts. It provides literal steps for us to take to heal, repair, and create wonderful new lives out of the wreckage of our old ones. But why do you need a 12-Step program? That answer is best coming from you.

Ask Yourself

Have you tried everything you can think of to get well, and it hasn’t worked? Are you sick of going it alone and trying to figure it all out by yourself? Do you even know where to begin? Do you have hope that your life can get better? Because in 12-Step recovery communities all over the world, we alcoholics and addicts do have hope that life can get better. More than that, we believe it really will get better if you take the 12-Steps. It worked for us, and it changed our lives. And we think it could work for you, too. 

This is exactly why you don’t have to go it alone anymore. At Jaywalker Lodge, we’re here for you. Many other methods of treatment for alcoholism and addiction eventually put you back on your own. You’ll leave the facility or stop receiving the sedatives and have to figure out how to maintain on your own. With the 12-Steps, we’ll get you back on your feet so you can start living a life you’ve always dreamed of, but you’ll never have to go it alone. We simply couldn’t have maintained our recovery or get to live such full, happy lives in recovery by ourselves — and thankfully, we never have to.

So, was this kind of a trick question? Not really. It’s just a question that you have to answer for yourself. Do you think you’re not really an alcoholic or addict? If you can figure out sobriety and recovery on your own, our hats are off to you. But if you’re tired of doing it alone, the 12-Steps and the community built up around them are here for you. Do you think maybe a hospital or a religious practice will get your life back on track? We wish you all the best and we truly hope it does. But if you need a booster for those things, working the 12-Steps can often increase the effectiveness of whatever other ways we are trying to improve ourselves. If you need us, we’re here for you.

Not everyone who drinks heavily or uses addictive substances is an alcoholic or an addict. But for those who suffer from the disease of alcoholism and addiction, it is dangerous and difficult — if not nearly impossible — to recover alone. If you earnestly need help freeing yourself from the grasp of alcoholism and addiction and you wish to engage with a life of long-term recovery, there is hope. Jaywalker Lodge can provide the support, education, and environment you need to begin a lifetime of happiness and freedom in recovery. Call us today at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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