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For some reason, many people have biases against the 12 Steps. Often times, this is because people refuse to actually do the steps, and instead find reasons not to implement their principals in all our affairs. However, the Big Book asserts that AA, NA, and other 12-step programs do not hold a monopoly on getting clean and sober. So, today, we are going to take a quick look at some alternative drug treatment programs and their relation to the steps.

Faith-Based Alternative Drug Treatment Programs

Faith-based recovery is one of the most common alternative drug treatment programs. There’s a good reason for that: most alcoholism and addiction treatment programs revolve around establishing a spiritual foundation that can relieve them of their addiction/alcoholism.

Many of those in any of the –Anonymous programs have either been members of churches or were at one time. However, for some, that is simply not enough, and that is where the 12 Steps come into play.

The 12 Steps do not require membership or belief in any specific conception of God or a Higher Power. As such, being in a program does not require mutually exclusive membership. In fact, it is also one of the programs we ourselves provide.

Holistic Alternative Drug Treatment Programs

Many of the same principles that apply to faith-based recovery also apply to holistic recovery. It is essentially the Eastern schools of philosophy aimed towards recovery from alcoholism and addiction.

Therefore, the 12 Steps are equally supplemental to a holistic approach to recovery as well. Again, the 12 Steps are not aimed only at Christianity as some people seem convinced.

Rational Recovery

One other method of recovery is called rational recovery. Now, our mothers always told us not to say anything if we could not say anything nice. That said, we find it very strange whenever a program spends a lot of time demonizing another form of recovery. If someone were truly vested in our lives changing for the better, would they not approve of any method, so long as it provided a happier, balanced, and healthier life?

Further, why would someone be so vehement in trying to sell us something if it was really that effective? More so, why would they need to downplay the effectiveness of other methods, such as the 12 Steps? It seems that if a program were truly effective, the results would speak for themselves and—being a way to improve the lives of millions—that such a method would be made available to all without having to buy a book.

“But you have to buy the Big Book!” some may say.

Not true. If you ask a literature person at any meeting for a Big Book, and if you cannot afford it, they will make sure you leave with one no matter what. I personally have bought several Books for newcomers just based on overhearing that they were pressed for cash at the moment. Money is not an excuse in AA, NA, or any other 12-Step based program.

Any alternative drug treatment programs worth their salt in helping people to recover are open to any methods of recovery. If mere reason were enough to provide us long-term sobriety or clean time, none of us would be here. Yet, the rooms of various 12 Step programs are increasing every day, and more and more people are finding a path to a new life. We use some of these programs ourselves to supplement our recovery programs, and we want everyone who comes in to our Orange County drug and alcohol treatment center to have the best shot at getting a chance to live clean and sober.

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