12 Step Versus Holistic Addiction Programs

12 Step Versus Holistic Addiction Programs


There are several different addiction programs out there that might be used to help a struggling addict or alcoholic. One of the most popular programs is the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. They have meetings in just about every city around the world, where recovering alcoholics can get together and help each other to stay sober.

There are other programs out there too. Some are religious based programs to help people to stay clean and sober. Other programs are behavioral based and seek to change the behavior of the addict. But by far, the most frequently used program is the 12 step program. Does this make it the best choice? Not necessarily.

The 12 step program does not work for everyone. In fact, almost 80 percent of people who try the program will leave it within the first year and never return. So you can tell based on this internal statistic from AA that their program is not for everyone. On the other hand, if you are just starting out in recovery, you would do well to give AA a chance, because the meetings are pretty much everywhere and they are also free.

The best addiction program though is one that uses an holistic approach to recovery. This means that instead of just focusing on the spiritual aspect of recovery, the addict would treat their whole person–their whole self–in terms of recovery from addiction. This opens up the possibilities for growth in other areas of your life. For example, an holistic approach to recovery would consider things like:

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1) Physical health, nutrition, fitness, exercise.

2) Emotional balance and stability.

3) Spiritual growth.

4) Mental acuity, education, learning.

5) Social expansion, meeting new people, working with others.

And so on. The list would not actually stop there, but you could actually find other areas of your life in which to seek growth. For example, I started exercising in recovery and I also quit smoking. Now I am making efforts to improve my diet on a regular basis. These decisions do not help me stay clean and sober directly, but they all add up to make a huge difference in staying sober from an indirect standpoint.

Many of the decisions you make in a holistic health program will boost your self esteem as well. You are making a conscious choice to take better care of yourself. This has a real impact on how you feel about yourself and about your life. When you value yourself more, you become less likely to relapse in the long run due to this higher self esteem.

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