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Can’t Get On Board with 12-Step?

The long-embraced 12 Step program has a tendency to get strong reactions. So many people love what the program has to offer and swear by it as the sole reason for their recovery. Others, they don’t exactly get it. Between the constant involvement with meetings and the concept of not having control, there are many reason why people try to avoid 12 Step methodologies and look for alternatives. So if you can’t get into 12 Step, what are your options?

Evidence-Based Treatment

While there is nothing wrong with the 12 Step program, not everyone has the mentality to make it work for them. As an alternative, some centers embrace evidence-based treatment techniques like CBT, DBT and motivational interviewing to approach recovery by rewiring the way people think and react. Instead of giving up control to a higher power, people going through this type of treatment will be given the power to change themselves. They will learn about their own strengths and weaknesses and use what they learn to create tools for self-correction. As the name implies, evidence-based treatment is based on clinical evidence and relies on the help of professionals in the field. Sometimes, this can be more comforting for people especially if they do not hold religious beliefs and need a different way to embrace the recovery process.

What About MAT?

Medication-Assisted Treatment has seen a lot of controversy over the years, but it is not something that we should ignore. Not all MAT methods are wrong and some really do help people find recovery. It it important to point out that MAT should be combined with other treatment methodologies though in order to obtain a full recovery and remove the need for medications. Traditionally, 12 Step programs have clashed with MAT programs because of their abstinence based ideology. MAT is not abstinence-focused and instead turns to ideas of harm reduction. In this method, absolute sobriety is unnecessary as you can learn control over time. No matter which method you choose for recovery, it is important that we not look down on each other based on which method we choose. We need to end the stigma attached to each method and just embrace the fact that we are all in the recovery process!

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