For several decades, the 12-step plan has been utilized as the sole addiction solution thought to result in long-term recovery. This is primarily due to a lack of research and knowledge surrounding how to handle patients who suffer from addiction. General practitioners, counselors, and court judges continued to put their weight and support behind the 12-step plan because there were cases of success, even though there were far more unknown cases of failure.
However, non-twelve step treatment programs are becoming a more prevalent addiction solution as more medical professionals refute the validity of the 12-step plan for its lack of evidence. That’s where we see the first and largest trend in non-twelve step treatment programs.
● Based in Evidence - The general public wants an addiction solution that has had statistically significant success and arises from scientific fact. Those facts may span several medical fields, from the psychological to physical. In other words, how do non-twelve step treatment programs make positive, quantifiable changes to emotional, psychological, and physical health?
Other trends recently seen in non-twelve step treatment programs include:
● Outpatient Therapy - One-on-one cognitive or behavioral therapy is becoming an increasingly important factor in the success of addiction patients outside of a clinic. Therapy works to address mental conditions that might be a cause or aggravation to the addiction such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD. These medical factors were previously not discussed or treated in 12-step addiction solutions.
● Life Skills Training - Patients addicted to a substance have often been detached from a normal lifestyle or lack the understanding about how to accomplish certain daily tasks. For instance, a drug addict may give up food and/or never learned how to give the body proper nutrition. Therefore, many non-twelve step drug treatment programs include outpatient classes for cooking, cleaning, job searching, and other valuable life skills that keep a recovered addict healthy and self-reliant.
● Online Peer Groups - Support groups are not necessarily outdated. In fact, most medical professionals who debunk the 12-step plan agree that social interaction and peer support is an important factor in long-term recovery. However, a support group may simply be a group of recovering addicts who share a passion or hobby. Or, it might be in the form of an online forum such as Facebook, where peers at a distance can submit a daily uplifting post.
While no two non-twelve step treatment programs are the same, they are likely to include at least one of the core trends listed above. These types of support are trending for a reason: the fact that you can tailor them to a patient’s specific medical needs, goals, and personality.