Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and other similar self-help support groups have certainly helped millions of people to change their lives around. And there are certainly people who start attending 12-step meetings and find that the support and information they find there is enough to help them start and stick with a clean or sober life. Having said that, for the majority of individuals struggling with addiction, they find it is very tough to quit without medical detox and a structured addiction treatment program. Going cold turkey is not recommended, especially if substances like alcohol or benzodiazepines are involved, as withdrawal symptoms from these substances can be life-threatening if not medically supervised. A rehab program often starts with the detoxification process where medical supervision is available 24/7 to provide a safe and comfortable detox.
So, to answer the question, “Can’t I just go to 12-step meetings?” It all depends on your substance abuse of choice and the level of addiction. If you are considering treatment, starting with a doctor’s recommendation or by calling a reputable rehab center that provides a thorough medical exam and psychiatric evaluation is a good start. Actually, once the decision is made to seek help, the willingness expressed to dedicate time and effort to do the work it is required will often pull you through the whole treatment process and beyond. Just believe it is possible, as many have achieved sobriety and have moved on with their lives.
As for the self-help support groups, most treatment programs will include some version of a 12-step program, in addition to individual, group and/or family counseling and specialized therapeutic services such as trauma treatment. This multifaceted treatment approach helps address every aspect of addiction, giving the recovering individual the best shot at living a healthy, happy life in recovery.
Rehabs offering multifaceted treatment provide psychotherapeutic services designed to address the root cause of addiction treating the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the disease of addiction. As no single treatment is appropriate for all individuals, make sure that the treatment you seek is individualized to your particular needs and will include treatment for any related mental health condition such as trauma, depression, anxiety, etc. — there are lots of options to suit your needs and situation.
We at Florida Center for Recovery believe that for treatment to work the individuals must feel ready to embark on the recovery journey. We also believe in delivering compassionate care with dignity and respect. If you would like to explore addiction treatment options, feel free to give us a call at: 800-851-3291. All calls are confidential.
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Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.