Myths About 12 Step Recovery in St. George
When long-term sobriety is a challenge for individuals who want to stop abusing alcohol, drugs and other types of substances, many people turn to 12 step programs for support and guidance. Although there are numerous reasons to embrace the principles for 12 step recovery in St. George and throughout the world, there are still many lingering rumors and misunderstandings that surround this oftentimes effective program.
The original 12 step program was established in the 1930’s by Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.). Even though this well-known program has a long history of helping millions of people with the battle against addiction, many people still struggle with the guiding principles, especially if they are recovering addicts in the early days of their meeting participation.
Often when individuals first begin to work the program’s steps and traditions, they do not understand the structure of the program and why and how it can help them. Here are several facts that clarify some of the most common misconceptions.
Myths And Facts About 12 Step Recovery in St. George
Myth: The Program Is A Religion
Facts to Consider: While 12 step recovery in St. George and other places do include certain spiritual philosophies and practices, such as praying for strength, the program itself is not a religion. Although 12 step programs do not endorse or promote any particular system of faith or religious group, members are free to belong to any type of religion they want. They can be Catholic, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, agnostic, or anything else. Even as some individuals may find it helpful to meld their religious habits with their 12 step practices, belonging
Myth: The Organization Is A Cult
Facts to Consider: The twelve-step program follows a list of principles that are outlined in each of its 12 steps. The steps are used to define and solve problems and to suggest ways to behave or take action. Cults, on the other hand, focus on one particular person or object, insist that members think in a certain way, and punish members if they quit the group. Twelve step participants are free to think for themselves and are also free to quit or attend meetings whenever or wherever they want.
Myth: Members Can’t Think for Themselves
Facts to Consider: Attendees are encouraged to think for themselves so that they can develop a better lifestyle. They oftentimes attend meetings so that they can associate and learn from other people who have experienced addiction and who are in various levels of recovery. Oftentimes they attend meetings to find and spend time with other recovering addicts who are willing to support their efforts to live a lifestyle that does not include drugs, alcohol or other addictive substances. In their literature, Alcoholics Anonymous recognizes that the 12 step program is just one method of finding sobriety, acknowledging that there are other ways to become sober.
Myth: Only Older Individuals Attend Meetings
Facts to Consider: People of all ages and backgrounds attend the meetings. In fact, attendees can usually select from an assortment of meetings, whether in small towns or large cities, and these meetings are attended by a variety of people. Some meetings have younger crowds, some gatherings have primarily older participants, and some meetings are attended by a mixture of both younger and older people. However, no matter the age or background, they all share the common desire of sobriety.
Myth: Stories at Meetings Make People Crave Addictive Substances
Facts to Consider: Most of the time, meetings focus on recovery strategies, such as how to cope with difficult life challenges in positive ways. Occasionally, discussions do come up that involve past addiction experiences that describe alcohol or substance use. Some addicts may find that discussing alcohol, drug or other substances may trigger a desire for them. For that reason and other reasons as well, sharing previous alcohol or drug infused exploits for the purpose of just telling an entertaining story is not encouraged, and they are even sometimes prohibited.
Myth: Members Try To Convince Non-Addicts They Are Addicts
Facts to Consider: Alcoholics Anonymous literature that guides programs, like the 12 step recovery in St. George and other areas, emphasizes that the classification of an addict is best determined by the individuals themselves. There are several qualifying questions that individuals can ask themselves that sometimes only they can answer, such as, “Have I blacked out from substance use,” or “Has substance abuse harmed my relationships.” That said, some 12 step groups do not allow members to contribute to discussions unless they confirm they are addicts.
Myth: People At Meetings Are Sad And Pathetic
Facts to Consider: Individuals who attend meetings have often had a passionate relationship with a substance that they thought would bring them joy but that actually hurt them instead. However, they have learned how to live (or are in the process of learning how to live) without it. Instead of being sad and pathetic, they are often very strong people, since they are taking steps to break away from an overwhelming addiction that has the potential to harm them in multiple ways.
Myth: Meetings Are Dull And Tedious
Facts to Consider: Most of the time, meetings are generally anything but dull and tedious. Many recovering addicts have had a lot of experiences and continue to lead, full eventful lives, which they willingly share with each other. There can be a lot of laughter, and there can be tears. In fact, participants can share all sorts of emotions at meetings. Many people bond through shared experiences, and many individuals end up developing friendships at meetings. Most attendees like to go to the meetings because they know they will learn things and find acceptance, friendship, and strength.
Myth: Everybody Complains During Meetings
Facts to Consider: Almost everyone on the planet finds that day-to-day living can be challenging at certain times, and that it can help to vent and share problems with others. That might be why it may sometimes seem that attendees complain a lot at meetings. Yet, an extreme amount of complaining is strongly discouraged. Instead, to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of life, individuals are encouraged and reminded to utilize the tools found in the 12 step program. The program focuses on helping individuals find ways to cope with anything that comes up, such as difficult relationships, demanding jobs, and family frustrations.
Myth: 12 Step Meetings Usually Fail
Facts to Consider: It is often quite difficult for researchers to know exactly how many people succeed or fail when they attempt to become sober when using any type of program, including 12 step programs. There are several reasons for inaccurate success and failure rates, including former participants may be difficult to locate after they leave programs because they change addresses or telephone numbers or they may ignore requests for follow-up information.
Nevertheless, according to National Geographic, 12 step programs are the leading cornerstone treatment for individuals that want to maintain a long-term sober lifestyle. Furthermore, they do help a large number of people stop from consuming alcohol, taking drugs and abusing other types of substances.
While it is true that there are there are other types of programs, and there is no guarantee that any one program works for everyone, it is also true that 12 step fellowship programs do have a history of working for many people. Twelve-step programs oftentimes work because they give people who want to stay sober easy access to support groups and a set of tools that can help them create new habits, a new lifestyle, and a fresh perspective.