Integrating 12 step meetings and philosophies into treatment is controversial due to the spiritual nature of the program. Many people find benefit to learning the practical applications of the 12 step theory and attending meetings during their time in residential treatment.
Socializing With People In Recovery
A challenge in early recovery is creating a new social group based on people who are sober and pursuing transformative change in their lives. There is a common philosophy in recovery: not drinking and using isn’t enough. On a daily basis, staying sober might be all you have. Yet, to stay sober long term, you need to look at deeper changes. 12 step meetings are full of people who are committed to that and people who are not. Going to meetings to meet new people is an important practice in learning to find and develop relationships with people who hold the same values that you do.
Hearing Inspiring Stories
A phenomena that most people can agree with about meetings is the day they don’t want to go to a meeting, they hear something they truly needed to hear. During 12 step meetings, people share about their “experience, strength, and hope”. They use portions of The Big Book Of Alcoholics Anonymous or other AA approved texts to support their personal inspiration. Early recovery during the treatment phase can include many days with bland outlook. Having a “why” and something to believe in for recovery is absolutely essential for continuing to make it through. People have overcome tremendous trauma, challenges, and unthinkable depths in their addictions, only to come to sobriety and live a full, happy life in recovery. Hearing these stories during the earliest days is invaluable.
“The Defense Against The First Drink”
Working the 12 steps along what is called “a suggested program of recovery” is meant to give someone in recovery the tools they need to act as a “defense” against the “first drink”. According to AA philosophy, the addict or alcoholic has an “allergy” to their substances of choice. Once someone has just one they cannot help themselves but to have more. It isn’t the fifth or sixth and twelfth drink which poses the problem, but the first drink which starts the entire chain of events. AA was one of the first programs to include relapse prevention skills about reaching out, examining one’s feelings, doing a quick personal check, and getting spiritually in line.
Opportunities To Be Of Service
Due to the anonymous nature of AA, there are no paid positions for all of the meetings. Meetings are run on donations and volunteer positions called “commitments” which can include being a secretary, a greeting person, sweeping the floor, making coffee, giving tokens, bringing literature, or acting as a treasurer, among others. Being of service is a great way to keep yourself busy once you’re in sober living transitioning through lower levels of care. You’ll be committed to going to meetings, having responsibility, and being accountable for it.
At Avalon Malibu, we believe the 12 step philosophy and function of 12 step meetings can greatly add to the transformative process of recovery. Our beautiful estate houses our two residential treatment facilities for primary mental health and primary substance use disorders. For a confidential assessment and more information on our trusted programs, call 1 888-958-7511.