Can the 12 Steps Work for Non-Religious Individuals?

Although the twelve-step groups have helped many individuals around the globe to achieve and maintain sobriety, their focus on surrendering to a higher power has been an obstacle for many recovering addicts.

Perhaps it is the spiritual emphasis of 12 step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) that turns off a lot of individuals who are seeking addiction treatment, due to the fact that often times individuals seeking drug and alcohol addiction treatment do not consider themselves to be religious. It is a fact that many who are seeking addiction treatment don’t have to practice any formal religion or believe in a traditional deity to benefit from the principles behind the 12 steps. The 12 steps are based on the belief that addiction is a spiritual as well as a physical disease, and that believing in a higher power has been proven helpful in recovery. In this case, the higher power is defined by the individual member, not by the fellowship or specific religion, which makes the 12-step programs non-denominational.

It is the reality that some 12 steps groups have a distinctly Christian emphasis, in spite of the organization’s non-denominational orientation and this can make non-religious members feel pressured to accept definitions they are not comfortable with. Individuals who feel troubled or offended by a 12-step group’s approach to recovery, but believe in the value of the 12 steps, have the option of switching to a meeting more aligned with their believes and find a sponsor who shares those same believes. Even if the decision is that the 12-Step is not the right approach to recovery, the insight gained by attending the meetings with an open mind can be a valuabl experience that proves helpful for those on the path to recovery.

Whether or not you believe in a traditional image of God, the principles taught in a 12 step program can be a valuable resource for your recovery. Attending a few meetings and talking to members of a 12-step group can help you make your decision as to weather or not it is the right approach for you or not.

Below are the principles of the first three steps that has been controversial for many.

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.

Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to God as we understood God.

Finding the Right Drug Rehabilitation Center

Twelve Steps recovery is not an addiction treatment approach embraced by everyone struggling with drugs or alcohol. For those who can’t accept the spiritual foundations of the 12 steps, secular groups like SMART Recovery may be an option. When it comes to recovering from addiction to drugs and alcohol, the most important “step” is finding a reputable drug rehabilitation center that offers comprehensive treatment. Programs geared to heal the body, mind and spirit, are better equipped to help recovering individuals develop their own power to get better.

At Florida Center for Recovery, we provide individualized addiction treatment plans through our residential rehab. We help clients understand what is the cause of their addiction problems and work together to resolve those underlying issues.

Our addiction treatment programs are offered to male and female clients ages 18 and older. Call our admissions department to learn about our drug and alcohol rehab programs. Let our drug rehabilitation center help you or your loved one get the treatment needed for a lifelong recovery.