Relapses are common when people are in recovery because they make the mistake of trying to battle their addiction on their own. It’s important to know that there is help available to make the recovery process easier for you. 12-step programs have been shown to be very effective ways for someone to maintain their sobriety. The following guide walks you through a few reasons why the programs are seen as being so beneficial.

Provide Greater Understanding of Addiction and Recovery

The main basis of 12-step programs is knowledge of addiction and recovery. The meetings aimed to educate people about what addiction really is, what triggers are and the steps that need to be taken in order for someone to become sober for the long haul. Understanding that addiction is a disease that will have to be battled for the rest of your life is important. Knowing how to recover from addiction in a healthy way requires proper knowledge about it.

Creates Trust and Anonymity

There are many people who want to get help for their addiction but want it to be done anonymously. Fortunately, most 12-step programs require for everyone in the meetings to keep everything that is said to themselves. This allows you to talk openly and honestly without fear that other people will find out about what is going on in your life.

Affordable for Anyone to Participate

The cost of rehab can be very expensive. If your insurance and does not cover the cost, it can be difficult to get to help you need. Most 12-step programs do not charge participation fees. The programs are funded through donations or through fundraising missions to ensure that everyone can get the help they need regardless of their financial situation.

Create a Welcoming Environment

Addiction can be embarrassing and depressing. Most people do not feel comfortable talking about it because they think that they will be judged by others. The stigma surrounding addiction can sometimes be debilitating. When you go to 12-step programs you do not have to worry about being judged. Everyone who is there has been through the same things that you are going through. This can make you feel welcome and comfortable.

Create Camaraderie with Others

Many people feel very alone when they are in recovery. Isolating yourself from others can serve as a trigger that could lead to a relapse. Going to meetings with other people who are battling the same struggles that you are allows you to know you are not alone. It can give you peace and allow you to really embrace your recovery efforts.

Provides Support Throughout Recovery

When things get difficult in your life, you may be tempted to drink or use drugs. Having a safe haven that you can go to for support can make sticking to your sobriety easier. You will have friends that you can call when you feel tempted who can help you through the difficult times. They may be able to provide you with advice on how to handle the situation in a safe and sober manner.

Establishes Accountability

In many 12-step programs, sponsors are assigned to new members. Sponsors are designed to help guide the members through their recovery. They help with keeping you accountable for your actions and provide a shoulder to lean on when needed. It is often suggested to choose a sponsor that is the same gender as yourself. This allows you to talk to them about specific situations that require specific insight that only someone of the same gender would truly understand.

Available on a Global Level

Joining in a 12-step program allows you to have help and support regardless of where you go throughout the world. There are meetings available no matter where you travel which can make maintaining your sobriety easier. If you travel to a meeting in a different area, you will be welcomed with open arms as if you have been going to that same group for years. Many 12-step programs have websites available that you can use to find a meeting near you no matter where you travel. The information will include everything you need to know such as the time, the date, and the location where the meeting will take place.

Don’t Take a Lot of Time

Many people assume that in order for them to be able to maintain their sobriety, they have to spend a lot of time in meetings or recovery sessions. This is not the case. Most of the meetings associated with 12-step programs are relatively short. They allow you to still maintain a regular lifestyle while getting the help and support you need. You are not required to spend a certain number of hours in order to participate in the group. They understand that people have busy lives and want to serve as a support rather than a hindrance to your recovery.

Provide a Detailed Guideline

When you join a 12-step program, you are provided with detailed guidelines on what you need to do in order to be able to stay clean and sober. This is important because recovery can seem very overwhelming at first. Knowing the details steps that you need to take can make the process more manageable and better your chances of success. If anything arises that makes you uncomfortable or that you do not understand, be sure to ask questions. People are there to help you understand what sobriety really takes and provide tips on how to maintain it.

If you are unsure if a 12-step program is right for you, simply go to one and see if you like it. If you find that you’re not comfortable in one meeting, consider trying a different one. Meetings take place and many different times and just because one did not have people that you felt comfortable with does not mean and another one will not. Your sobriety is worth fighting for in going to regular meetings with other people can make the battle easier.


Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center® holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.