The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous was developed by a group of recovering alcoholics in the 1930’s and to this day it remains one of the most widely used programs for the treatment of not just alcoholism but all forms of addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, there are multiple 12-step programs in Colorado which can offer treatment to overcome these issues.
12-step programs are based on the philosophy that the most effective way for someone to discontinue using drugs and alcohol is to speak to other addicts and alcoholics, forming a strong and widespread support network for each other. Since its origins in the Alcoholics Anonymous program, numerous other 12-step fellowships such as Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and Heroin Anonymous have been started to help those with addictions to specific substances.
All of these different programs are based heavily on spirituality, however, they are not aligned with any specific religion. Instead, they allow for each person to rely on a higher power of his or her own choosing to help them get sober and stay sober. This flexibility of beliefs has allowed people from all walks of life to recover from addiction and alcoholism, and it is one of the main reasons why there are many choices of 12-step programs in Colorado.
The History of the 12 Steps
The original idea for the 12 steps was developed by Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, in the 1930’s through his own experiences with alcoholism. Bill, who had struggled with alcoholism himself for many years, was able to recognize that working directly with other alcoholics was the most successful way he had seen others recover from their problems with substance abuse.
Because of this, Wilson outlined the 12 steps and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous in a book he wrote known in 12-step programs as the Big Book. In it, the alcoholism is clearly defined as a disease, stating that it is beyond an individual’s power to recover from their substance abuse issues alone. The solution offered to this was the 12 steps and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Due to its widespread success in its first few decades, many substance abuse programs began to adopt the 12 steps as their core for treatment with great success. Because of this success, most substance abuse facilities today are 12-step programs.
How do the 12 Steps Work?
The core principals of 12-step programs in Colorado are that addicts and alcoholics suffer from a disease which is not treatable by simply implying will power to stop. Instead, recovery is gained by fellow addicts and alcoholics working with each other to gain and maintain sobriety. While going through the 12 steps are the core of 12-step programs, there are multiple aspects of the program which include:
- Completing all 12 steps of the program
- Attending 12-step meetings regularly
- Working directly with a sponsor (someone who has been through the 12 steps themselves)
- Participating in service work for the 12-step community as well as other organizations.
- Carrying the message of recovery to those who are still suffering
Those who participate in all of these aspects of the program have a great chance of long-term success, often maintaining their sobriety for the rest of their life. Adherence to the 12 steps often helps people overcome other destructive behaviors in their lives that may or may not be directly associated with their drug and alcohol abuse. Many people who struggled to live a normal everyday life prior to attending a 12-step program flourish once they have gone through the 12 steps.
Finding a 12-Step Program in Colorado
Because of the popularity and widespread success of the 12 steps, there are many 12-step programs in Colorado which offer treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse and have decided to get help, it is important to know the differences between various facilities before making a final decision on a program.
12-step programs in Colorado can range from very basic, short-term facilities to long-term and luxury accommodations. Here are a few of the most important thigs to consider when choosing a 12-step program:
- Does the facility have experience treating my specific addiction? Depending on what substance you are struggling with, finding a program which has extensive experience treating those who are in your similar situation is the best choice.
- How long is the treatment program? Treatment programs can vary widely in length from a few days to a few months. The longer someone stays in treatment, the higher their chances of success.
- Is the facility accredited by an independent organization such as JACHO or CARF? Independent organizations do an extensive audit of a programs staff, facilities and treatment methods before awarding them with their accreditation.
- What sort of accommodations are offered at the facility? Facilities can range in accommodations from dorm style bunk beds and shared bathrooms to individual rooms.
- Does the facility utilize licensed counselors in their treatment? Treating substance abuse effectively takes years of training and experience. Attending a facility with only licensed counselors assures you receive the highest level of care available.
- Is medical detox provided? Many substances such as alcohol, opiates, and benzodiazepines require a medically supervised detox to safely discontinue.
- Does the program offer extensive aftercare treatment? Maintaining sobriety after treatment requires work, attending a form of aftercare upon leaving treatment is typically the best way to ensure continued success in recovery.
Get Help Now
Sorting through all of the options for 12-step programs in Colorado can be confusing and stressful. Because of the fact that there are so many options available, it can be hard for families and individuals to know what program is best.
Here at Sober Times, we have a team of professional and experienced staff members who are available 24-hours a day to help assess your situation and find a program which best fits the needs of you or your loved one. Often times we can even help guide you through the admissions process to ensure quick and effective treatment.