12-Step Integration

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Turning Point of Tampa's Approach to 12-Step Integration

Turning Point of Tampa uses a 12-step based philosophy, incorporating the principles of the steps, including powerlessness, honesty, and responsibility, into the client’s daily life while in treatment. Therapists often give assignments using 12-step literature, as well as encouraging them to get a sponsor and develop a support network.

Our clinical team collaborates with clients through the **12 steps** to identify how spirituality is connected to recovery and help guide them toward developing their own concept of a higher power. Many of our therapists and staff have personal experience with the 12-step method of recovery. Coupled with our other therapeutic modalities, the 12-step approach is another tool we use to give the client a well-rounded introduction to recovery.

What are the 12 Steps?

The 12-steps were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to establish guidelines to overcome alcoholism. AA’s 12-Step approach is to follow a set of guidelines or “steps” toward maintaining recovery. Members of the AA fellowship begin working these steps as part of their journey to finding lasting sobriety.

What are the 12 Steps? | Turning Point of Tampa

In the 1930s Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) became the first twelve-step program. AA helped to aid its members in overcoming alcoholism. AA is comprised of members all over the world. Each group utilizes a group approach to recovery known as a “home group”. In addition, peer support from other members, a “sponsor” (the person who guides the member through the steps), along with active sharing and participation are part of the power of the group. Becoming a member happens by self-declaration. There are no dues or fees to join AA, NA, or any twelve-step fellowship. Members hold each other accountable, and support continues throughout one’s entire recovery.

The steps have guiding principles. These principals are spiritual in nature and help someone suffering from alcoholism or addiction to find freedom and learn how to live without drinking or using drugs.

Many experience a new life and recover from their active drug addiction, compulsion, and alcoholism.

The 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have been adapted to other programs such as:

  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Marijuana Anonymous
  • Overeaters Anonymous
  • Al-Anon
  • Nar-Anon

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Are the 12-Steps Recognized as Clinical Treatment?

Yes and no. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) recognizes that there needs to be much more research conducted in this area. 12-step integration has been recognized as an evidence-based practice (EBP) by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) agency. This practice is embedded in the (DMHAS) Assertive Community Treatment Program. It is not considered a specific clinical treatment option for recovery.

How are the 12-Steps Utilized in Drug and Alcohol Programs?

The twelve steps are used in many drug and alcohol programs across the world. The purpose of the steps is to provide in order a clear-cut way to gain abstinence. This process is very insightful and helpful to treatment and recovery programs who address substance addictions, behavioral addictions, and compulsive behaviors.

Twelve-step facilitation is an active engagement strategy designed to increase the chance of a client or patient to become actively involved and affiliated in the 12-step recovery program and the 12-step support group that best suits them.

Does Project Match Recognize the 12 Steps?

One of the largest and most widely used and quoted studies to support the “AA works” philosophy is Project MATCH, which was published in 1998. This federal effort has been widely supported by The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

The objective of Project MATCH is to determine whether specific groups of alcohol abusing, or dependent patients respond differentially to three different types of treatments including: (1) Twelve-Step Facilitation Therapy, (2) Cognitive- Behavioral Coping Skills Therapy, and (3) Motivational Enhancement Therapy.

The main implication of Project MATCH findings is that all three treatment approaches are effective in the treatment of alcoholism:

Motivational Enhancement Therapy | Turning Point of Tampa

Fellowship and 12-Step Integration

Beginning June of 1935, during the great depression, Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12-steps got their start. The organization was founded by Bill Wilson, while detoxing in a drug recovery center in Manhattan. Through his detoxification experience and “spiritual awakening”, Bill had discovered his Higher Power, he connected with like-minded people and vowed to help others. This is the foundation which resulted in the formulation of the 12 steps and 12 traditions, the heart of AA. 

The steps were carefully thought out and written from a group of recovering alcoholics, clergy men, and doctors. Throughout the United States, the “Big Book” of AA or the “Basic Text” of NA have become the foundation of twelve step fellowships.

These books are used during 12-step facilitation group sessions at addiction treatment facilities.

It is important to note that all 12-step programs have no affiliation with any addiction recovery program. Active participation in a 12-step fellowship can be part of someone’s recovery, 12-step integration happens based on the philosophy of each facility.

The 12 Steps and Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous is the largest of the 12-step fellowships. The next largest group being Narcotics Anonymous (NA). 12-step members measure their recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol daily. AA uses the term “one day at a time” and NA uses “just for today.” All fellowships give tokens for various lengths of abstinence starting from day one to celebrating yearly anniversaries.

These are the Twelve Steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA):

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

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

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Substance Abuse Treatment and Utilizing 12-Steps

When in a rehabilitation facility that supports 12 step integration, participating in a 12-step fellowship helps clients develop a sense of structure during the recovery process. This is especially important to maintaining sobriety once they transition back into fully independent living.

The proven and continued success of the 12 steps is why it is often used in conjunction with other substance abuse treatment.

Relapse Prevention for Alcohol Dependence | Turning Point of Tampa

Do the 12 Steps Incorporate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

No, a 12-step integration program does not typically consist of any specific cognitive behavioral therapy. Treatment providers can implement the philosophies within their addiction treatment programs based on the needs of their clients.

When you are admitted to a drug treatment program, you will receive clinical treatment and therapy. Most aftercare plans include individual therapy, ongoing psychiatric services whenever necessary, and involvement in the 12-step fellowship.

Turning Point of Tampa Incorporates 12 Step Philosophy

We incorporate the 12-step approach to all client treatment at Turning Point of Tampa. This powerful rehabilitative methodology has helped millions of people recover from addiction and mental health challenges. The step-by-step approach works for individuals in all stages of treatment and recovery from substance use, food addiction and eating disorders.

A Framework to Help Clients Recover

Our client’s participation in 12 step programs help inform much of our clinical approach at Turning Point of Tampa and function as a framework to help clients recover. Clients will experience the steps at many different stages in their journey at Turning Point.

Levels of Care

At Turning Point of Tampa we offer a comprehensive continuum of care, including primary and extended care programs, intensive outpatient, and weekly aftercare groups. Our program treats various addictions in the comfort of our serene, tranquil campus.

At Turning Point of Tampa we offer individual and group therapy, support groups, and many other addiction treatment options to address addiction and substance abuse.

We understand how difficult it can be to see family members struggling with an addiction, and we want to be there to help. A 12-step program can increase the chances of success of sobriety throughout one’s life. Phone calls are hard to make when hurting. We are here to answer your questions. If you or someone you know is suffering from drug abuse or a substance use disorder, please reach out to our team right away.

The Point is Recovery Podcast

Join us for conversations with advocates, experts and people in long term recovery as we work to end the stigma that has long plagued addiction & mental health. We are passionate about recovery and are excited to share our experience, strength & hope with you.

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