Arizona Drug Treatment 6 Misconceptions About 12 Step Programs

Arizona Drug Treatment: 6 Misconceptions About 12-Step Programs

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12-step programs for addiction treatment and recovery have helped millions of people break free from substance use disorders since the 1940s. However, as with any lasting and popular group, several misconceptions have arisen since their introduction. At Desert Cove Recovery’s Arizona drug treatment center, we use the twelve steps in our programming for a simple reason: they work.

But breaking some of these misconceptions can help people new to recovery discover whether 12-step programs are right for them. So, let’s explore some of the more common misconceptions and separate truth from fiction.

DCR 1 Misconceptions About 12 Step Programs

1. A 12-Step Program Means Only 12-Step Work

There is a distinct difference between 12-step support groups and 12-step treatment centers. 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous are free-standing entities that make the 12 Steps free and available to anyone. They are fully self-supported and not affiliated with any professional treatment organizations.

A 12-step program like you might find at our Arizona drug treatment facility is a professional drug and alcohol treatment that uses the 12 Steps as a guide to recovery. But it doesn’t mean you are only given the same twelve steps as you would in a support group.

Other treatment options included in a professional 12-step program could consist of:

These treatment options are all compatible with the 12 Steps and facilitate your progress in the recovery journey.

2. A 12-Step Program Is Only for Alcoholics

While it’s true that the 12-step model originated from Alcoholics Anonymous, it has quickly been adopted to treat a wide range of substance use disorders. These support groups have expanded to include options such as:

  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Cocaine Anonymous
  • Crystal Meth Anonymous
  • Heroin Anonymous
  • Marijuana Anonymous
  • Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous

Whatever your particular challenge with addiction may be, there is a 12-step model to help you recover.

Common Misconceptions About 12 Step Programs

3. You Need to Be Religious at a 12-Step During Arizona Drug Treatment

12-step groups are often believed to be strictly religious, Christian groups. The basis for this misconception is found within the steps, which speak of a higher power, God, and prayer and meditation to improve your connection with your higher power.

But ask any current member, and they will explain that the program is undoubtedly spiritual — but not religious. Literature and traditions make clear that 12-step groups are open to anyone with a desire to stop drinking or using drugs, regardless of their religion or lack thereof.

People who don’t come into a 12-step program with a religious identity are encouraged to find a concept of a higher power that works for them. It could be the power of the group itself, the Universe, or anything else that is simply a power greater than yourself.

4. 12-Step Is One-Size-Fits-All

No two people have the same story of addiction, and everyone’s path to recovery is unique. But knowing this, many people doubt the effectiveness of a 12-step program, thinking that it is a one-size-fits-all approach.

The twelve steps serve as a guidebook to recovery. But they are not the entirety of your treatment plan — only a foundation from which you can start.

With dozens of other treatment options and modalities available, no two treatment plans at our Arizona drug treatment centers are the same. They are always catered to your unique needs and preferences and designed to give you the best chances of a lasting and worthwhile recovery.

6 Common Misconceptions About 12 Step Programs


5. 12-Step Is Only Welcoming to Certain Demographics During Arizona Drug Treatment

This misconception is actually several misconceptions bundled into one. It’s common for people to hear or believe that 12-step programs:

  • Are only for old people
  • Only cater to men
  • Only work for rich people
  • Only work for poor people
  • Aren’t welcoming of sexual/gender minorities
  • Are only for white people

In reality, 12-step programs are incredibly diverse, have worked for people of countless different social standings, and welcome people from all walks of life into their communities.

Particularly in Arizona, you can find 12-step groups that particularly cater to:

  • Young people
  • The LGBTQ+ community
  • Gender-specific groups
  • Culture-specific groups

Anyone struggling with substance abuse can find a home in a 12-step recovery program.

Arizona Drug Treatment: Some of the Most Misconceptions About 12 Step Programs

6. 12-Step Doesn’t Work

People often accuse 12-step programs of not being based on science and assume that they don’t work. Nothing could be further from the truth. In a massive study comparing 12-step addiction programs to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational enhancement therapy (MET) programs, 12-step programs were found to be just as effective as these highly scientific, evidence-based interventions.[1]

That isn’t to say that a 12-step group is the only solution. The data shows multiple pathways to sobriety, and there are countless more than this study investigated.

Arizona Drug Treatment: A 12-Step Program for Your Recovery Journey

If you’re looking to break free from a substance use disorder, a 12-step program could be just what you need. Not only does a 12-step program help you achieve abstinence, but it provides a set of tools for continual self-improvement to help you make your life in recovery genuinely worth living.

To start at Desert Cove Recovery’s 12-step treatment program, call our team at (844) 235-2768 or complete our confidential online contact form. You can break free from addiction, and Desert Cove Recovery can help show you the way.