We at Evolve Indy in Indiana are committed to helping people overcome addiction. At our recovery treatment center in Indianapolis, we use several different methods in treating addiction including individualized therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. These are incorporated into our addiction recovery programs like our Intensive Outpatient Program and our Partial Hospitalization Program.
One of the most important treatment methods we use is the 12-step recovery program. Unlike methods such as detox and medication-assisted therapy, the 12-Step program goes beyond treating the symptoms of addiction to dealing with the root issues. This program is highly effective because it teaches a person to change their behavior as they aim for long-term sobriety. Using this method, individuals in recovery can learn how to start, live, and end their days without depending on alcohol or drugs.
What is a 12-Step Program?
The 12-Step recovery model was pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939 and is now widely used in a majority of treatment centers worldwide to help people recover from a wide range of conditions and most famously, drug or alcohol addiction.
Learning and practicing the 12 steps also serves as a major guide towards helping those in recovery learn a new way of life free from dependence on these substances.
The basic premise of the 12-Step model is that individuals can help each other achieve and maintain abstinence from the behaviors or substances to which they are addicted. The two main features of the 12-Step recovery program include:
- A group setting –During these group meetings, the 12 steps are discussed and applied in a recovery group. The emphasis here is placed on people sharing their experiences with others who have suffered similar problems and finding support as they seek to change their lives.
- A sponsor- Many of those involved in the program find another member (who is also a recovering addict further along in the recovery process) to serve as a sponsor. This person acts as a mentor, providing guidance and help in times of crisis when the temptation to relapse becomes overwhelming.
The 12-Step model gives people a framework from which to surrender their addiction, process what they have been and are going through, and move forward into a new way of living.
What are The 12 Steps?
Here at Evolve Indy, we’ve taken the principles of the 12-Step program and incorporated them into our treatment programs. We’ve modified some of them a little to help our clients personalize the concepts expressed into their own lives.
- Admitting powerlessness over the addiction.
The first step of recovery is admitting you have a problem. This first step deals with honesty and those with addictions admitting that they have a problem and acknowledging that they are powerless against their addiction.
- Faith that a power greater than us can help us overcome our addiction.
After admitting to having a problem with addiction, the next step involves having faith that God or a higher power (in whatever form) greater than us can help us get over that addiction.
- Surrendering to the higher power.
This involves deciding to turn over control of your life to the care of God, whatever you understand Him to be. This step is about surrender and admitting that you can’t make changes by yourself. It is also about finding a new path in spirituality.
- Taking a fearless inventory of ourselves.
Next comes soul searching. Taking an inventory of our actions helps us realize how our behavior affected not only ourselves but also those around us. This can be an eye-opener, further motivating people to change their lives.
- Sharing that inventory.
The next step is a little harder as it involves admitting our wrongs to God/ the higher power, ourselves, and another human being. While it is difficult to do, admitting our wrongs provides the greatest opportunity for growth. As you openly admit your faults, you unburden yourself from past secrets.
- Accepting our character flaws and becoming willing to let them go.
Once you’ve identified and admitted to your faults, the next step in the recovery process is being willing to let them go. This step is meant to address some of the issues that led to your drug use or alcoholism that if not addressed, could lead to a relapse.
- Humbly asking God to remove those shortcomings.
The 7th step involves your acceptance that you need help making meaningful changes in your life. As you ask the higher power to remove your faults, you’re accepting that you can’t do it on your own and you acknowledge that you need help.
- The willingness to right wrongs.
After addressing personal issues and shortcomings, the next step is to list all the persons you’ve harmed and being willing to make amends for those wrongs. This includes friends, family, and co-workers, among others. This is a humbling experience but one that can lead to personal growth.
- Where possible, making amends to those we have wronged.
Even tougher than making a list of wrongs done to others, is taking steps to amend those wrongs. Contacting those you’ve harmed and asking for forgiveness isn’t easy but it’s necessary if you’re to free yourself of guilt to have a clear conscience.
- Continuously taking an inventory of ourselves and promptly admitting when we’re wrong.
No one likes admitting when they’re wrong but promptly owning up helps avoid resentment and anger that can lead to greater issues later on.
- Prayer and meditation.
Recovering from addiction is a lifelong process and daily prayer and meditation help keep recovering addicts grounded. This is also a key part of practicing mindfulness, consciously keeping contact with God, and finding a new path in life.
- Helping others in need by sharing the message of the 12 Steps.
The last of the 12-Steps involves putting the other principles into practice in every area of your life and helping others who are in need.