recovery programs

The Right Recovery Program for You

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Recovery is a different experience for every person. The road winds, it shifts, it has speed bumps, road blocks and even a couple of dead ends. But none of these things are the same or guaranteed for every person recovering from addiction.

However, one thing is for certain, you have to have a plan. Or a recovery program. There are a few to choose from, and you don’t even have to only pick one. However you do have to pursue something. To leave this part out of your journey is like deciding to skip putting gas in your car. Pretty soon you will find yourself stranded. The following are examples of different recovery programs that can help you get and stay sober. To get you where you need to be on your journey through recovery.

12 Steps

If you are new in recovery or have been around the proverbial block in your sobriety, you are familiar with 12-Step recovery programs. Starting with Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935, these mutual self-help support groups have provided the encouragement and support for millions of recovering people worldwide. The widespread popularity and use of 12-step groups come down to the simple fact they provide the structure, motivation and sense of fellowship the addict needs in order break the cycle of addiction and embrace sobriety.

12-Step programs are truly effective and are an essential part of one’s recovery arsenal, but they may not suit everyone’s unique and specific needs. Again, recovery isn’t a one size fits all proposition, and if you are feeling that you aren’t getting what you need out of a program such as AA or NA, you may achieve the breakthrough you need with a different recovery program.

SMART Recovery

Aside from 12-Steps, SMART Recovery is probably the best-known program available to addicts. SMART Recovery was founded in 1994 by Joe Gerstein, and it is a not-for-profit nationwide organization which offers free support groups to individuals who desire to break free from any addictive behavior–including substance abuse. Those who participate in SMART Recovery learn the tools for addiction recovery that are based on scientific research, and these tools are based on four core principles:

  1. Building and Maintaining Motivation
  2. Coping with Urges
  3. Manage Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors
  4. Living a Balanced Life

These techniques teach people how to change themselves from within and encourages them to be proactive which leads to self-empowerment which is a different philosophy in comparison to more traditional 12 step approaches. Additionally, individuals are encouraged to talk with one another, as opposed to talking to one another. The techniques taught in SMART Recovery evolve as scientific knowledge regarding addiction recovery changes, and meetings can be held in traditional meeting rooms or people can participate in online meeting forums.

Harm Reduction

Another example of the many different recovery programs that are available to those in recovery are Harm Reduction programs. These particular programs are a set of practical strategies intended to reduce the negative consequences of high-risk behaviors associated with drug and alcohol abuse. Harm Reduction programs use a non-judgmental approach and open dialogue and debate in order for those new in recovery to discuss specific risks associated with alcohol and drug use, what causes those risks, and what they can do to reduce or eliminate those risks.

These particular programs do encourage abstinence but are highly supportive of anyone who wishes to minimize the harm associated with a high-risk behavior such as drinking or drug use. The harm reduction concept is controversial to some in the recovery community since it supports moderation of substance use.

Life Process Program

The Life Process Program is another example of different recovery programs that were developed as an alternative to Twelve-Step programs like AA and NA. Created by Dr. Stanton Peele, this Internet-based recovery program operates on the belief that people are not powerless in regards to their addiction and don’t need the help of support groups to overcome substance abuse.

The Life Process Program is based on four basic tenets:

  • Values and purpose
  • Motivation
  • Life skills and real-world rewards
  • The building and mending of community and relationships

Interestingly, this program was created and initially used in luxury rehab facilities, then made available as a comprehensive online course in which people receive both online and telephone coaching. Relapse prevention techniques are at the core of this program and participants learn how to build positive self-worth, values and nurturing a strong sense of life purpose.

Women for Sobriety

Women for Sobriety is an alternative recovery program that was the very first national self-help program specifically created for women struggling with addiction, and it has over 300 chapters throughout the United States. Women for Sobriety is an abstinence-based self-help program for women facing issues of alcohol or drug addiction, and at its core is a program known as the New Life Program. This program is based on on a set of principles called the Thirteen Acceptance Statements, which are similar to the Twelve Steps in terms of addressing powerlessness in addiction and the development of emotional and spiritual growth.

For those who take part in the Women for Sobriety recovery program, they learn to avoid the pitfalls of negative thinking and the destructive behavior that had led participants to pick up drinking or drugs. With the New Life Program, women can learn how to engage in productive and positive thoughts which will in turn, guide their actions and beliefs. Like many of the different recovery programs that have been created as alternatives to 12-step groups, Women for Sobriety offers meetings and support in both traditional and online forums.

These different recovery programs that are available to you may provide the spark you need to overcome your particular addiction issue. In this exploration of alternative non-12 step support groups, there have been no inferences made stating these groups are “better” than 12-step groups. As stated before, recovery is not a one size fits all proposition and if a 12-step group is not working for you, these groups may be a better fit.

Call First Steps Recovery Today for the Right Recovery Program for You

When you make the commitment to a drug treatment facility, you put your complete trust in the fact that the rehab you choose has the programs, experienced staff and full continuum of compassionate care needed to make your goal of lifelong recovery a reality. At First Steps Recovery, our addiction professionals will use a wide array of proven traditional and holistic-based treatment services that will help you address and overcome your addiction. Call us today: 844-489-0836.

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