12 Step Recovery Programs can help you recover safely and effectively.

What Makes 12 Step Programs So Effective?

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When it comes to the 12 step programs of recovery, knowing that they are meant to help, and not harm can make the process smoother for a person new to recovery. These programs are effective in the lives of those who are open minded to what they have to offer and work to gain an understanding of what the process entails. But what exactly makes them so effective? Understanding the steps and how they help can lead to understanding why the programs are so helpful and effective. 

What is the Purpose of 12 Step Groups?

Someone new to recovery may ask themselves what the purpose of 12 step programs is. It’s natural to have a curiosity and wonder why people turn to these groups, they may even think it’s a cult. However, it is the exact opposite. The purpose of these programs is to provide a support system while simultaneously working on self to build a solid foundation. When alcohol is removed from the equation, life still shows up and problems arise. Having a foundation in recovery, through 12 step programs, can help an individual to fend off potential relapse.

Types of 12-Step Groups

Those in early recovery are often searching for who they are, they have never had to go without substances since addiction took hold, and they need hope to know it is possible. When looking into joining 12 step programs, it can almost be overwhelming. The different types of groups out there can seem like a lot to grasp and comprehend. Breaking it down to the major types of programs can help someone to see everything at a glance for an informed decision. 

The two major types of 12 step programs are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). However, there are also other programs born from these two, but for the sake of understanding, discussing AA and NA would be best. AA was the originally founded program for someone who struggles with alcohol and is seeking a way to find sobriety. Since then, NA as well as other programs have been conceived. 

Major Themes of 12 Step Programs

There are some things that are stressed in 12 step programs as being vital to successful recovery. They all benefit the person seeking recovery, and can only help with personal growth.

Rebuilding Trust

During the time that someone is actively drinking, they tend to create havoc within not only their lives, but the lives of those around them. Lying, cheating, and stealing are major components of life when someone is struggling with alcohol. 12 step programs offer a way to stay sober and rebuild trust from loved ones.


Accountability is a major theme in these programs. Maintaining accountability, not only apologizing but also putting in the effort to change harmful behaviors, is a catalyst to someone completely changing their life and becoming a better person. Not only to appease others, but to bring true happiness to themselves.

Higher Power Belief

This is not to be confused with a belief in a religious deity or figure. A higher power is something greater than self. Many people use the ocean, or nature because no matter what happens, they are always there. Therefore they could be considered a greater being. Believing in something greater can help to create faith. Faith or belief is essential to confidence that recovery is possible.

Powerlessness Over Alcohol

To even fully be able to live life sober, and free of alcohol, someone needs to understand and accept that they are powerless over alcohol. 12 step programs emphasize this because those within these programs know that once alcohol enters the system, all bets are off. The person who fought to get sober, can revert back to a monster. 

Peer Support

This is probably the biggest benefit offered by 12 step programs. Having the support of people who have been in the same position and made it through can make all the difference for someone who is struggling to maintain sobriety. When someone comes into the program, they gain a whole group of friends and people who know exactly what they are going through, and can help as the individual navigates this new life in recovery.

They’re Everywhere

12 step programs are found in just about every city and town across the country, as well as foreign countries. Being able to go anywhere in the world and find a place to call home is so beneficial for those seeking recovery.

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Anyone entering into a life of recovery is generally encouraged to strengthen their recovery with a 12 step program. But before that, receiving proper care to remove the substances from the body is vital to being able to fully grasp and understand what the programs offer. We can help here at Ocean Hills. We offer personalized care to those who come to us. If you or a loved one are struggling, contact us today.

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