Does 12-Step Recovery Actually Work?

12-Step recovery programs focus on the development and maintenance of a spiritual awakening and psychic change as a means of recovering from addiction and alcoholism. By having the vital spiritual experience through working the 12 Steps, an individual’s motivation, desires, and thinking changes—one is no longer interested in drugs or alcohol, and instead focuses on helping others who are struggling. Research into the effectiveness of 12 Step recovery is controversial and open for interpretation, but when one adheres strictly to the recovery program as first outlined by the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, they will invariably achieve and maintain sobriety.
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states: “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty.” A 2009 Journal of Addictive Diseases study by Dr. Lee Ann Kaskutas, Alcoholics Anonymous Effectiveness: Faith Meets Science, found that, in an 18-month study of men and women attempting to recover from alcoholism, rates of abstinence were about twice as high among those who had attended AA or another 12-step group. Another study of the general population found that “individuals with lifetime alcohol dependence who went to 12-step meetings but no formal treatment were more likely to be abstinent than those who did nothing.” In summary, the study found that those who attend AA are twice as likely to remain sober and higher levels of attendance at meetings increases one’s chance of maintaining sobriety. The National Institute of Health further explains, “Three or more AA/NA meetings per week are optimal and associated with complete abstinence. However, even one or two meetings per week are associated with sharp increases in abstinence,” and the most effective way for one to achieve and maintain sobriety is through a combination of AA and treatment.

Recovery and redemption can become a part of your story. You can change your life and begin building a brighter future by choosing to seek help today. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Orange County, California, offers a variety of effective treatment techniques, including inside and outside 12-Step meetings, as part of the Residential Treatment program. For more information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777