Benefits of Non 12 Step Treatment

With so many treatment options available, and with no two cases being alike, one may struggle in deciding which option is best. The traditional approach to treating alcoholism and drug addiction has been through the use of 12 step programs.


12 Step programs focus on group discussions and peer support. They teach the individual to recognize the triggers that lead to abuse, to accept that they are not alone, and to develop a strong support group. While many patients have successfully recovered from addiction using these programs, there are those who find themselves frustrated by the lack of alternatives.


Why 12 step programs don’t always work


There are many reasons why 12 step programs don’t work, and each has its individual merits. For some, these programs may interfere with a work schedule. For others it may be due to being at odds with the religious component of the approach. In certain cases, the strict rigidity of traditional 12 step programs may simply not be conducive to the rehabilitation process.


Some individuals may feel uncomfortable detailing their experiences with strangers. In certain cases the 12 step programs have even shown to be counterproductive in that the support groups themselves could be the trigger for substance abuse.


Scientific Approach


Modern rehabilitation facilities tend to focus on a more holistic treatment approach. These centers typically keep abreast of medical advances, dual diagnoses, how chemicals interact with the brain, and keep up with the latest trends in the fields of psychology and psychiatry.


Having this information available makes a welcome change to those who may have attempted outdated and unscientific approaches. Research shows that recovery rates using an individually designed non 12 step program can make it easier to achieve sobriety. Instead of relying on willpower, the recovering addict is able to rely on medical intervention and a comprehensive support system with a scientific approach.


Evidence based treatment


A comprehensive appraisal of your case history is a fundamental component to any non 12 step treatment program. A healthcare professional will work with a patient to discover what has and what has not worked with regards to previous attempts to quit.


By undertaking such an analysis, the treatment center is able to eliminate unnecessary repetition, thus helping the individual to recognize that they are truly making progress for the first time.


A treatment action plan based on the results of a case history analysis can be formulated and will be specifically designed for the individual in question. Such a program may include the prescription of certain medications and/or the implementation of a behavioral approach.




It is important to note that although medications to treat opiate, alcohol and nicotine addictions have been developed, no such medications exist to treat marijuana, depressants or stimulants.


Medications combating cravings, relapse, mood swings, sleeplessness, irritability, etc. may be prescribed. Such medications may also help the addict to focus on treatment related counseling. There are currently three main medications available which have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of alcohol addiction. Medications for the treatment of both drug and alcohol abuse tend to be more effective when used in conjunction with behavioral therapy.


Behavioral Therapy


Behavioral therapy teaches the individual how to cope with cravings and/or triggers which could potentially cause relapse. Triggers include seeing former associates or being unable to cope with certain situations.


Behavioral therapy is generally comprised of one or more of the following:

  • Cognitive therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Motivational encouragement
  • Confidential one on one interviews with a professional.
  • Multi-systematic therapy
  • Other therapies that have been proven to be effective in treating alcohol and substance abuse.




The traditional 12 step rehabilitation module tends to see recovery as an ongoing lifelong process. Individuals see themselves as being in a current state of recovery, whether they have reached sobriety or not.


Non 12 step programs tackle alcohol and substance abuse differently. The patient is encouraged to fully recover from addiction. Non 12 step programs are also a lot more scientific. The approach includes the latest techniques available and includes a more holistic treatment regime. Some individuals benefit from a combination of both non- 12 step and 12 step programs.


Research has shown that patients who have not responded positively to traditional methods of rehabilitation stand a far better chance of achieving lasting sobriety when incorporating a non 12 step approach.


If you have any concerns, approach a healthcare professional who will be able to advise you further and to answer any queries you may have. Don’t despair. The problem can be beaten.

An Alternative Road to Recovery: Non 12 Step Rehab

Making the decision to attend rehab is a difficult one, to say the least. It takes will power and emotional support to get the help that you need. It is important to know your options, as choosing the right treatment program can prove to be difficult. There are many important factors to consider for the most optimal outcome, such as choosing inpatient or outpatient care, or a sober living home. This decision comes down to your specific needs, preferences and well-being. Many people choose a non 12 step rehabilitation facility as their form of recovery.


What is a Non 12 Step Rehab Facility?

A non 12 step rehab program is considered non-traditional. A traditional rehab program will recommend that you attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as a form of recovery. They also focus on group therapy. A non 12 step program takes a completely different approach. The basic difference between the two is that a traditional rehab program treats alcohol as the main cause of the problem. A non 12 step looks to treat the underlying issue that caused the patient to abuse the substance in the first place.


Who Should Consider a Non 12 Step Rehab Program?

When it comes down to it, the goal of any form of rehab will focus on you gaining sobriety and getting your life back on track. If the patient has underlying issues which will continue after rehab, a non 12 step rehab program may be the best course of treatment for them. The patient should decide for themselves which method is best. Below is a list of reasons someone would choose a non-traditional treatment center.


  • If you are against or not comfortable talking in group sessions.
  • If you prefer not to involve belief in a higher power for recovery.
  • If you want to focus on the underlying cause of your addiction.
  • If you prefer a more scientific approach to recovery.


This is not to say that a traditional rehab center will not discuss the underlying cause, because they will. A traditional rehab program will focus on the twelve step program and group therapy to surpass those obstacles. The twelve step program emphasizes the need for a higher power. This, to many, may feel like they are not taking sole responsibility for their actions. The non 12 step program provides help and support, but encourages you to understand the decision is ultimately up to you, and no one else.


Most non 12 step programs use long-term inpatient treatment. Patients will generally stay about 3 months. They also use a more holistic approach during detoxification. Another major difference between the two, is perspective. In a traditional approach, patients are told they have an incurable disease, which can be suppressed by attending meetings and having life-long therapy. A non 12 step program acknowledges the addiction, but views it as a problem that can be solved for good, but it’s only a matter of how long it will take.


How Much Does It Cost?

The price between traditional and nontraditional rehab programs are virtually the same. The cost depends on whether you are an inpatient or outpatient, facility location, facility activity-preference and recovery treatments. A non 12 step inpatient treatment facility costs anywhere from $2000 to $25,000.


Looking Ahead

Regardless of whether you choose a traditional or nontraditional treatment program, the first step is making the call. Deciding which approach to take is a personal one. Do your research. Look into your budget and speak to your loved ones. It will take will power and emotional strength to get through this obstacle of addiction. Remember to look at rehab as a roadmap to recovery. If you don’t like the road you’re on, change paths!