If you go through the basic stages of the traditional 12 step program, you can begin to notice that they seem inflexible. All patients undergo the same procedure and are expected to make improvements following the same steps. If the user doesn’t get better at the expected pace or has an impediment, the program is never guilty (because many of its followers believe the 12 step program to be infallible).
Blaming the patient, who is already sad and disappointed because of their fight, will only push them further away from recovery. Maybe you can take a moment and imagine how exhausted you would feel if someone said that you did not put in the effort, even if you are just trying to make through one of the hardest things anyone can hope to do.
Alternative, non 12 step programs rely on a highly individualized treatment plan. These plans remain flexible, which means that if the patient does not move to the rhythm of the program (whether it is positive or negative), the program adapts to the needs of the patient. If something does not give the desired results, you need to change your approach until something starts to improve. This clearly speaks about that there is no one-size-for-all approach when it comes to patients in recovery.
The traditional 12 step approach suggests that drug addiction and alcohol addiction is an incurable disease. Patients can combat this lifelong problem by regularly participating in meetings. Maybe it works for some, but others may feel discouraged that they somehow always are at a disadvantage, no matter how hard they try.
Non-traditional programs look at drug addiction or alcohol abuse as a problem, a very serious problem. In fact, they accept and recognize that this is a problem that can be fatal if not engaged. However, they also show that this is a problem that has a solution. The solution is a long-term recovery and treatment options.
|Non 12 Step program||12 Step program|
|Treatment approach||Using evidence-based scientific approaches to the treatment of addiction and constantly evolving as scientific knowledge evolves.||It is necessary to complete a series of 12 steps on the basis of powerlessness and acceptance of God or higher power. Access has no scientific basis, but it helps a lot.|
|Length of treatment||In terms of meeting attendance, these are similar to the 12 step program that there is not set period of membership. Non-12 step program of recovery has different lengths of treatment.
|They have no set length of treatment. Some people attend meetings for several months while others attend for life. The standard length of residential treatment programs with 12 steps components will vary – usually 30, 60 or 90 days.|
|Cost||Meetings are also available. The cost of a residential program using an approach that is not-12 steps to recovery will vary.
|The meetings are free to attend. The only requirement is that you must stop drinking or using drugs. The cost of residential treatment including a 12 step philosophy will be different.|
|Confidentiality||Confidentiality is very seriously taken, so it won’t give up any information of the patient.||Confidentiality is very seriously taken, so it won’t give up any information of the patient.|
|Closed vs. Opened meetings||They differ from one to another program, but meetings are mostly opened unless listed as closed.
|Mostly opened for other people to attend, and there are also closed, only for the 12 step members.|
|Individual vs. Group||Although they have a group environment, the focus is on finding a strategy that works for you and to develop these skills.
|They have a group mentality, in which members share experiences and help each other achieve.|
|Philosophy||Typical approaches depending on the scientific and psychological perspective.||Have a spiritual and religious component.
|Family support||There is a SMART Recovery support group for friends and family of the addicted ones.
|There are support groups for families, such as NAR-ANON and AL-ANON.|