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12-Step vs. Non-12-Step Treatment: Which Is Better?

For those who are suffering from addiction, it may seem like there isn’t hope for recovery, but there is. There are different types of substance abuse treatment programs, but they fall into two main categories. These include a 12-step program and a non-12-step program.

12 step drug rehabs are a common approach to treatment. It focuses on self-help and is a community-driven treatment that focuses on acceptance, commitment, and social responsibility. These can be religious in nature, but not always. However, these programs aren’t necessarily scientific and offer more of a philosophical or spiritual approach.

Pros of a 12-Step Residential Treatment

If you decide to go with a 12-step program, you will have plenty of options to choose from since this is one of the most common treatment models. Since there are so many different 12-step rehab facilities, these are often the most convenient and can be found in many metro areas in almost every state. This also helps with aftercare because, in a small time frame, the chances are high that you will be able to find a 12-step support group so you can attend weekly meetings. Since these are the most common rehab programs, they are also typically covered by major insurance plans. Even without great insurance coverage, it’s an affordable option. Many 12-step programs will rely on volunteers to lead support and sessions, which makes it more affordable than counselors and therapists. These programs are also the current cultural norm, but that can lead many people to assume that it’s the only recovery option available.

Cons of a 12-Step Residential Treatment

These programs can have a lower success rate. If you seek this type of treatment, there is no support for mental health or a dual diagnosis. This can be why it has a lower success rate since many don’t respond to the 12 steps because they have a concurrent mental health problem. A dual diagnosis with another mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression, needs to be treated in addition to the addiction. Since these programs are often lead by volunteers, the trade-off is the lack of professional certification in order to help with psychological issues and deeper mental health concerns. This is where a lot of addicts need help. There is also a lack of individualized care. 12-step residential treatment programs don’t provide one-on-one professional therapy that may be needed for those with other mental health issues.

Non 12 step rehabs are targeted on individual approaches to addiction. Some examples of these programs can include cognitive behavior therapy, which focuses on addressing the feeling and thoughts that can drive an individual to substance abuse. These programs can also use medication to help with withdrawal effects and aid in recovery.

Pros of Non-12-Step Rehab Programs

A non-12-step program has a better success rate. However, when comparing addiction treatment programs, you need to ask how the success rate is calculated so that you can compare apples to apples and make the best choice. These types of programs will integrate mainstream evidence-based physiological approaches. Some of the best programs of this type are based in counseling and they will use therapeutic techniques to help heal any underlying core emotional or mental issues that can cause people to abuse substances. There is also support for a dual diagnosis, which can be huge for the majority of the population that suffers from addiction. There is also more counseling and more therapists, and mental health counselors are included in these programs. This will allow for more individualized treatment to address a specific situation. This also allows for a diversity of approaches. Some of these programs can be spiritual or faith-based. Others are medically based and will include things such as injections to help with the physical cravings that come along with addiction. There are also hybrid programs that will combine different approaches, meaning there will be a type of program that can align with individual needs.

Cons of Non-12-Step Rehab Programs

Non-12-step programs only comprise around 26% of residential rehabs. Since there are fewer, there may not be a rehab program that is near your home. There is still a likelihood that you will find one, but you may have to travel. There is also limited insurance coverage. While these types of programs are growing, they are still the minority so they aren’t covered by insurance as often. Since these programs aren’t usually covered by insurance, they could be more expensive and have more out of pocket costs. However, there are ways to pay for rehab if a non-12-step program is the best choice for an individual.

Choosing a program that will be effective will depend on the individual. 12-step programs resonate better with some people, while others can feel more skeptical about this approach. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to addiction recovery. The motivation of the individual is important, regardless of which program is used. Find a treatment program that will be effective for the individual and he or she will need to give it their best effort in order to be successful.

Let Principles Recovery Center Help You Find Your Path

If you need assistance for a drug or alcohol problem please call us at 1-866-692-0909 to speak to someone who has been in your shoes and who can help guide you in the treatment process. The process can be overwhelming and our caring advisors are here to guide you throughout your journey whether you seek treatment with us or not.