12-Step vs Non-12-Step


Both 12-step and non-12-step programs provide the basis for recovery from addiction. Whether you want to go through treatment with the assistance and encouragement of a program or on a self-empowering and motivating individual treatment plan, seeking help will definitely prove beneficial to overall quality of life.

About 12-Step Treatment

This program is a recovery guide to treating addiction and behavior. People who choose to use a this program recognize they have a problem, and want to take steps towards a lifestyle clean of substances and addictive behavior. By focusing on addiction as the problem, accepting a higher power, and reaching out to other recovering addicts, people find support in this structured program. Examples of these programs are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and other chapters of NA. The 12 steps to recovery are as following:

  1. Admitting you have a problem and that you are powerless over addiction
  2. Adopt the belief that a higher power will help bring you back to sanity
  3. Turn the problem over to that higher power
  4. Make a moral inventory of the self by looking into your faults and behaviors that has enabled the abuse
  5. Admitting to those faults and behaviors through confession
  6. Readiness to remove the problem
  7. Asking the higher power to take away the problem
  8. Asking forgiveness from all who you have wronged throughout the addiction
  9. Make amends with these people in a positive way
  10. Continue to take inventory and making amends to those harmed
  11. Continue connection with higher power
  12. Help others overcome their own addiction


  • Admission into program is free
  • Safe and secure environment for recovering addicts through structured program
  • Spiritual as well as physical and emotional support from others
  • Expanded network from which to draw advice through sharing personal experiences


  • Possibility of depending too much on the group and not seeking outside support
  • People with anxiety/depression may have a problem in social setting and may not be inclined to share stories and experiences
  • Disagreement with recognizing a “higher power” to help them with addiction

About Non-12-Step Treatment

This treatment program is an alternative solution to treating addiction, advocating for self-motivation and taking control over your own life. Instead of a higher power being the main source of help for addiction recovery, these programs encourage individualism. People who participate in these programs focuses on help with addiction through either one-on-one counseling with a professional or peer recovery programs that can provide support and guidance. A popular program of it is called SMART Recovery, but many groups exist to help with addiction.


  • Admission into program is free
  • Program offers an individualized approach that caters to your respective case
  • One-on-one counseling may be good for individuals who struggle with social environments
  • Peer groups may be good for individuals who seek support and encouragement from recovering addicts


  • Not as widely known
  • Groups are run by recovering addicts
  • No spiritual support for those who prefer it

It is important remember that programs work differently for each individual. It is best to review the options and select which treatment plan best works for you and treating your addiction. Some other types of care provided for the addicts are Holistic, Short Term vs. Long Term, Inpatient vs. Outpatient, Relapse Prevention etc.


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