Misunderstandings happen all the time within 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Marijuana Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, or Debtors Anonymous. People seem to think that they know what the programs entail. Do not knock them until you try them because there a few myths that may keep people from coming.
The stereotype for 12-programs is an old bum on Skid Row drinking out of a brown paper bag. Not true. Addiction does not discriminate. There are all walks of life that come through the doors of a 12-Step program. Diversity is what makes the program stronger. If everyone was cookie cutter, it would be a really boring fellowship that would probably not have succeeded for the 7 decades it has thrived in.
People may think that addicts are forced into participation, but no one has to do anything once they come to a meeting or become a member unless they want to. Addicts may be nudged by the judge, or pushed by a loved one to attend. Ultimately it is the addict’s choice to partake in sharing in a meeting, joining in the fellowship, or actually working a program. There are no dues to pay or any hidden agenda, just a willingness to stay sober.
There is no religion when it comes to 12-Step programs. If fact, it is frowned upon to bring up any religious beliefs into the meetings because of the Traditions that 12-Step programs have in place. The word God can be seen in the wording of the Steps and in their books, although God refers to a general name to express a power greater than themselves. Everyone’s “God” is different in a 12-Step program, because there is freedom in finding one’s own personal conception of a Higher Power.
The only expectation that can be laid out is the desire to stop with the addiction. There are people that come into the program that relapse or are active in their addiction and they of course are still welcome to attend. Principles, steps, traditions, and concepts are there for the taking, but not mandated.
Just like anything in life, researching things that are important will give you a better knowledge of what should take place. 12-Step programs can work – if you work them.
Here at Serenity Oaks Wellness Center, we use 12-Step program aspects along with holistic therapy to help you, or loved one, work the program. Our comprehensive program can help start a new beginning for someone who is ready to surrender. Call someone on our staff today to get you started.
Call us: 844-720-6847