In 1935, Bill W. and Dr. Bob Smith established Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), a network of fellowship groups that support people recovering from addiction. The founders developed a 12-point plan that acted as a blueprint for the road to recovery and published it in 1939 as part of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Since then, this philosophy has gained speed and become incredibly popular.

At Discovery Place in Nashville, Tennessee, we align our 12-step rehab with the 12-step model as we understand its effectiveness in facilitating long-term recovery.

What is the 12-Step Program?

The initial 12-Step program has a strong spiritual foundation, emphasizing faith and recovery through God. Since then, many more secular groups have developed programs that reflect the structure of the 12 Steps. To further add, however, these programs appeal to a more general spirituality or on the other hand, avoid spirituality altogether. As a result, this has made the 12-Step model accessible to a broader range of people.

To offer hope and reduce shame, the 12-Steps guide substance users through a process of self-reflection and spiritual awakening. This helps participants develop healthy ways to cope with complex thoughts and emotions as well as change negative behavioral patterns into positive ones.

While initially aimed at people recovering from alcohol abuse, the twelve steps have since been adapted to fit a wide range of substance and behavioral addictions.  In addition to Alcoholics Anonymous, some of the numerous 12-Step groups that meet today include:

  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Cocaine Anonymous
  • Internet and Technology Addicts Anonymous
  • Al-Anon and Nar-Anon (for families of those in recovery)

How Does a 12-Step Rehab Work in Nashville, TN?

Many treatment centers include 12-Step meetings in their recovery program. For some centers, 12-Step rehab is the cornerstone of their treatment experience, carefully combined with other evidence-based treatment methods to offer a cohesive and holistic journey of recovery.

We include 12-Step meetings in our residential recovery programs as it allows clients to benefit from the healing power of mutual aid and spiritual growth from the start of their recovery experience. Therefore, it helps familiarize clients with the structure and content of 12-Step meetings, so they feel more comfortable joining a local group when they leave our treatment center.

Furthermore, 12-Step rehab includes meetings that involve:

  • Open and honest reflection
  • Listening to the advice and stories of others
  • Sharing feelings of acceptance and support
  • Emphasizing the healing power of helping one another as each participant continues their journey.

How Effective is a 12-Step Rehab?

Research shows the 12-Step method to be among the most effective treatment approaches for alcohol and drug addiction. For example, a recent scientific review of several studies found that manualized AA programs led to better abstinence rates after 1, 2, and 3 years than other clinical addiction treatment methods.

Additionally, evidence recommends support groups, including 12-Step meetings, for substance users who face barriers to professional treatment. Lastly, a Science Direct study found that participation in 12-Step support groups predicts lower illicit drug and alcohol use among people living with addiction.

The History of the 12-Step Program

Alcoholics Anonymous began after Bill W. and Dr. Bob Smith met by chance in Ohio in 1935. Combining their experiences with alcohol addiction, they realized that spiritual growth and mutual support were key to a successful recovery. As such, they decided to share their insights with others in the hope of offering them the same path to sobriety that they had found.

The founders published The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939. This contains an outline and explanation of the 12-Step model. Additionally, it includes the 12 Traditions, which are a set of principles that describe the values and structure of AA meetings.

As outlined, each AA recovery group is autonomous, self-organized, self-supporting, and accessible to all. By the mid-1940s, there were thousands of AA groups across the United States. Today, AA connects to a community of over two million people around the globe.

What Are the 12 Steps?

For those in recovery, 12-Step rehab serves as a step-by-step guide. According to Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12-Steps are as follows:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

Alternatives to the 12-Step Model

The 12-Step program and Alcoholics Anonymous have helped millions of people overcome addiction and maintain sobriety. However, the 12-Step model isn’t for everyone. If an individual is searching for an alternative to the 12-Step programs that draws on the same powers of shared experience and mutual aid but without the spiritual focus, there are several other programs available.

Each associate with its own community of people in addiction recovery. These include:

  • Secular Organizations for Sobriety (S.O.S)
  • Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART)
  • Women for Sobriety
  • Moderation management

Benefits of a 12-Step Rehab 

For those in recovery, a 12-Step rehab is wildly beneficial. Not only does this model encourage sobriety but it also sets the stage for maintainable results.

Specifically, the benefits of attending a 12-Step rehab program include:

  • Accessibility. 12-Step recovery meetings are free and widespread. Additionally, they are held at virtually any time of day or night.

  • Helping others. 12-Step meetings encourage individuals to share their recovery experiences and help others on their journey to sobriety. Therefore, this process helps many people remain committed to their own recovery journey while giving them a sense of purpose.

  • A sober community. Upon joining a 12-Step program, those in recovery become part of a community. This community comprises like-minded people who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. It’s a great place to make friends with others who want to enjoy sober activities.

Finding a 12-Step Program Near Me

AA and other 12-Step programs aim for their meetings to be as accessible as possible so no person faces unnecessary barriers to addiction recovery. Because of this, 12-Step programs can be found by searching in online directories for meetings in your area. For instance, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, and other groups all have search mechanisms on their websites.

Additionally, it has become more popular to offer 12-Step meetings through virtual platforms. Discovery Place in Nashville, Tennessee offers services in Knoxville and Chattanooga, and uses the 12-Steps in our rehab program to encourage sustainable sobriety.

12-Step Rehab in Nashville, TN

Without a doubt, the 12 Steps are a tried and true method of addiction treatment. So, let this code of steps help lead you to sobriety. Discovery Place’s 12-Step immersion provides men with a sense of community, purpose, and self-growth.

Additionally, we offer standard and long-term recovery programs to ensure our clients receive the help they need for as long as they need it. For more information on how we fit the twelve steps into our rehab programs or on how to access recovery groups in the Nashville area, give us a call or reach out through our contact form today.

Testimonials

  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
    Alumni
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
    Alumni
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
    Alumni
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
    Alumni
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
    Alumni
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham
    Alumni

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