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12 Step Programs, the Map of a New Life

During a stay at a drug and alcohol treatment center, a recovering addict will be exposed to 12 step programs on a daily basis, and these programs are an important part to maintaining long-term sobriety.
     There are many types of 12 step programs: alcoholics’ anonymous (AA), narcotics anonymous (NA), crystal-meth anonymous (CMA), cocaine anonymous (CA), and overeaters anonymous (OA), gamblers anonymous (GA), sex and love addicts anonymous (SLAA), and finally Al-Anon/Alateen (for families of addicts), and Co-Dependants Anonymous (CoDA). This list is a shortened version and I’ve shown it as a representation of the far reaching topics of addiction. For the sake of what I’m blogging about the word ‘substance’ can mean anything someone has become addicted to, obsessed with, or distracted by in a way that deters them from living a typically normal life.
     A triangle is a sign of strength and symbolically 12 Step programs represent three sides, or dimensions of the human structure: physical, mental, and spiritual. The physical dimension can be described by the bodily reaction to continued usage of substances. People can become, distracted, hyperactive, insomniacs, less motivated, manic, suffer panic attacks and illnesses, angry, resentful, fearful, and even suicidal. The mental dimension works closely with the physical side and deals mainly with compulsive behavior after a period of abstinence. The mind grapples with the inability to stop the behavior and even operates with the notion that this time the end result will be different. The spiritual side, although not a scientific explanation, deals with the addict’s self-centeredness.
     The process of working through a 12 step program is intended to replace self-centeredness with a moral consciousness and to behave in a way that’s deemed less selfish and more constructive. This is considered to be a spiritual awakening. How that achieved, however, is unique to each recovering addict. In many cases addicts have awakenings multiple times over the course of their life, but in most cases it is believed to develop slowly over time.
     Members of 12 step programs are encouraged to attend meetings on a regular basis with other members who share their recovery situation, and sharing your own experience, strength, and hope is vital to long-term good health and recovery.