The 12-step method was first developed by Dr. Bob and Bill W., the founders of AA, in 1935. Since then, it has been adapted for many other support groups that help people overcome behavioral health problems, including Narcotics Anonymous (NA). The method helps recovering addicts create the change necessary to live a life free of alcohol and drugs. The Twelve Steps indicate that trusting in a higher power is an important element in recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. Although AA was founded on a Christian doctrine, it has evolved to include any spiritual or religious belief.
The Twelve Steps include some version of the following, which are the original Steps from AA:
The main benefit of the 12-step approach is that it provides clients a path to follow that includes a support network. By attending meetings during a residential treatment program, a client begins the habit of attending meetings. This makes it easier for them to continue once they have completed the program. There are AA, NA and other 12-step support group meetings almost anywhere. A client can easily join a meeting whenever they need the support when they return home. If they already have attended meetings and formed a habit of doing so, they will more likely continue to do so. Additionally, if they have already begun to accomplish some of the steps before leaving treatment, the chances are higher that they will continue to do so on their own. It is because of this that 12-step meetings provide an element of aftercare and relapse prevention.
At Pax House, we still believe in the time honored and proven method of the 12 Steps. Therefore, we encourage our clients to attend local 12-step meetings every day, and we will transport them to the meetings when necessary. We also assist them in performing the initial steps in their journey to recovery. We feel this provides the necessary foundation for when they return home to continue the path to lifelong sobriety on their own.