One of the most crippling aspects of addiction is the feeling of isolation from family, friends, and colleagues that addictive behaviors can trigger. Because substance abuse can easily overwhelm your life, your social connections are often the first aspect of your life to become frayed. You may push away concerned family or friends because they “don’t understand” the toll that addiction is taking or how difficult it is to fight. You may stop showing up for work or lose your job entirely, depriving yourself of an important social structure. Eventually, you may end up largely alone, isolated from people who want to help.
12-step recovery combats this feeling of isolation by providing a healthy outlet for your need for social connection. By structuring your recovery around a positive group setting, 12-step programs can jumpstart your connection to others, helping you connect and support people who are also struggling with addiction.
Among the benefits of 12-step recovery programs include:
Rather than tackling your addiction recovery alone, you can benefit from the support of a group of like-minded individuals through a 12-step recovery program. By both giving and receiving support throughout the recovery process, you’ll not only progress in your own recovery but you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you helped others recover, too.
Connection to peers
While family and friends have your best interests at heart, many of them have not gone through the ordeal of addiction recovery and may not understand the intricacies of the recovery process. In a 12-step recovery group, nearly everyone you encounter will be either recovering from addiction or have overcome addiction in their past. Sharing stories, advice, and obstacles is much easier when everyone is on the same level playing field.
Recovery doesn’t simply end at a 12-step program when you no longer feeling cravings or return back to “everyday” life. Instead, recovery is seen as an ongoing process which requires continual accountability. 12-step programs can help you enter into a lifelong recovery pattern that will be supported, enhanced, and sometimes even driven forward by your fellow friends in recovery. Rather than one-time pledges of accountability, 12-step programs can keep you accountable and responsible for the long term.
12-step recovery is an effective and proven recovery method that has helped thousands of people overcome addiction. While it requires work and effort on your part and doesn’t tolerate shortcuts to success, a deep and respectful commitment to the process can yield lasting results and years of support and companionship.