A recovery program is designed to help an individual remain abstinent from participating in an addiction and maintain an ongoing sober or healthy lifestyle. It can mean anything from an individually designed aftercare program that may include medical monitoring, psychotherapy, fitness and nutrition to a more common definition which is attending a 12 step fellowship and working a recovery program.
Recovery homes were once called half-way houses and were designed to house alcoholics who were indigent. Today recovery homes are called sober livings or transitional living. These living environments house individuals from all socioeconomic backgrounds who are seeking to a build a secure foundation in sobriety before returning to their previous home or creating a new life elsewhere.
12-step programs are common types of ongoing recovery programs. A 12-step program is a set of guiding principles to assist in recovery from addictive, compulsive or other addictive behaviors. The suggested 12 steps were originally developed by the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), a small group of men who shared a desire to stop drinking in the late 1930s. The original 12 steps and corresponding philosophy has been adapted as the foundation of other 12-step programs to recover from addiction.
There are also non-12-step programs for individuals wishing to recover from addictions or compulsions. The 12-step model remains the most popular and widespread method of recovery from addiction. Many addiction recovery centers use the 12 steps as a component of their recovery program.
Common Recovery Programs Include:
- Adult Children of Alcoholics – 12 step program for individual raised in alcoholic or addicted families
- Al-Anon/Alateen – 12 step program for families and friends of alcoholics (Alateen is for teens, Alatot for toddlers also exists)
- Alcoholics Anonymous – 12 step program for those who have a desire to stop drinking
- Co-Dependents Anonymous – 12 step program for those who wish to develop healthy not codependent relationships
- Cocaine Anonymous – 12 step program for cocaine users
- Crystal Meth Anonymous – 12 step program for crystal meth users
- Gamblers Anonymous – 12 step program for problem and pathological gamblers
- Marijuana Anonymous – 12 step program for marijuana smokers
- Nar-Anon – 12 step program for friends and family members of addicts
- Narconon – The Church of Scientology’s inpatient treatment for drug abuse
- Narcotics Anonymous – 12 step program for drug addicts
- Nicotine Anonymous – 12 step program for smokers
- Overeaters Anonymous – 12 step program for individuals with food addictions and eating disorders
- Rational Recovery – addiction counseling and self help – alternative to 12 step
- SMART Recovery – non 12 step, cognitive behavioral non-confrontational addiction recovery assistance
- Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous – 12 step program for people recovering from love or sex addiction SLAA
- Sexaholics Anonymous – more traditional 12 step group that SLAA, use the Big Book of AA to recovery from sex addiction
- Sexual Compulsives Anonymous – 12 step group formed to address sexual compulsions among homosexual men
These are the original suggested Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous as published in the AA text Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939. Since that time, more than 25 million copies have been printed in many languages.
The 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous
- 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.
Other twelve-step groups have adapted the steps of AA as guiding principles for problems other than alcoholism. In some cases, the steps have been altered to emphasize particular principles important to those fellowships. One example being the first step in Al-anon replaces the word alcohol with the word people.