When it comes to treatment for alcohol addiction, one thing that often comes to mind is the 12-Step Program. The average person has most likely heard people recovering from alcoholism talk about “following the steps” or “working the program”. The reason the 12-Step Program is so widely known is that it has been widely successful. The 12-Step Rehab Program is a form of treatment we implement in our treatment here at Ocean Hills Recovery. But although you’ve probably heard of the 12-Step Program, you may be wondering, what is it?
What is the 12-Step Rehab Program All About?
The 12-Step Program has a long history of success stories.1 It was developed in 1935 by two men struggling to overcome alcohol addiction, Bob Smith and Bill Wilson. These men came to the conclusion that they were “powerless” against alcoholism, and decided that in order to truly heal, they had to accept this fact.
The program is centered around acceptance of alcoholism and coping with it, versus curing it. The 12-Step Program refers to alcoholism as a disease that one does not have the power to be cured of, but rather, a disease that one does have the power to live with and cope with by abstaining from alcohol. They encourage people to regain control of their lives by gaining control over their alcoholism. And the 12 steps help build the strength to do so.
What Are the 12 Steps?
The 12-Steps have been edited with small amendments over the years.2 However, the 12 Steps are, generally as follows:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
As seen within the 12 Steps, God is an integral part of the program. However, the program does explain that “God” can also be a Higher Power, or whatever you may see as one.
Community Support in Recovery
Also as seen within the 12 Steps, the program is very heavily based on community. Community is seen as a major part of recovery, and rightfully so: when a person is surrounded by people on the same journey, working toward the same personal healing and recovery, their success is not only a personal goal but a goal of their support system as well.
The program encourages participants to not only get a sponsor, a recovering alcoholic but also, to reach out to others in the program and to help them along their journeys, because helping others along their journeys can often, incidentally, help you along with yours. Therefore, community is a major part of treating alcoholism within the 12-Step Program. And at Ocean Hills Recovery, the community is just as important as it is in the 12-Step Program.
How Does Ocean Hills Implement the 12-Step Rehab Program?
We believe that community is an integral part of treating alcohol addiction. One of the reasons we implement some form of the 12-steps in most of our customized programs is because of the need for community in recovery. The program emphasizes acceptance of alcoholism, addressing the truth, reconciling with family members and friends, and getting active, and these are all principles we stand for at Ocean Hills Recovery.
However, addiction is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Because of this, we implement the 12-Step Program alongside other forms of treatment. At Ocean Hills Recovery, we offer many forms of therapy and treatment options, such as inpatient residential treatment, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, intervention services, and more.
Get Started with a Reliable 12-Step Rehab Program
Combining the 12-Step Program with other forms of treatment and therapy allows us to tailor a treatment program to each resident and their specific needs. Our goal is for each of our residents to receive the help they need to gain control over and enjoy their lives again, and to do so in a community that supports them and encourages them toward such a goal. If you’re interested in regaining control over your life and finding out if the 12-Step Rehab Program is right for you, contact us at Ocean Hills Recovery Center today, and we would love to help you!
1. Mendola, Annette, and Richard L. Gibson. “Addiction, 12-Step Programs, and Evidentiary Standards for Ethically and Clinically Sound Treatment Recommendations: What Should Clinicians Do?” Journal of Ethics | American Medical Association, American Medical Association, 1 June 2016, journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/addiction-12-step-programs-and-evidentiary-standards-ethically-and-clinically-sound-treatment/2016-06.
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About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.