Why are 12 Step Relapse Prevention Techniques Helpful?


Why are 12 Step Relapse Prevention Techniques Helpful?

I wanted to share an article to help you get a perspective on 12 step and how your alcoholic can benefit from this type of support group.

It’s written to your alcoholic but you’re welcome to listen in. Maybe you’ll want to share it with your alcoholic

If you have been around the recovery community you know there are people who love the 12 steps and those who don’t. I want to share with you some of the reasons why 12 step relapse prevention techniques are helpful.

Begin Where You Are At

The toughest part of entering recovery is realizing you’re not able to will it away. No, it’s not as simple as “Just Say No”. The powerlessness of being caught up in an addiction is profound.

The first step of Alcoholics Anonymous not only speaks of powerlessness but also looks to a Higher Power for the strength to overcome. Here’s where many struggle and even fight the 12 Step program.

Most people who are addicted have looked outside themselves in despair trying to find someone to help them take it away. It’s not THAT simple. Beginning a spiritual journey is an important part of the first step. It’s sharing the load we carried all alone. It’s allowing your belief in your Higher Power to assist you in dealing with the struggles of every day life.

Be Accountable to Someone

It’s very difficult to look into the eyes of your sponsor and tell him you are doing okay if you are high or intoxicated. Trying to deceive your sponsor is even more difficult because they have been there.

Sponsors vary in their involvement, generally according to the motivation of the person in recovery. If you want to stay free from your drug of choice GET A SPONSOR. This means not just asking someone to become your sponsor but allowing them to speak truth into your life. They will tell you things like: You need to get to a meeting, stop talking and listen, or where has YOUR best thinking gotten you so far?

These questions are only to help you focus on what’s important. You NEED others along the journey of recovery. Arriving at the place where you are finally ready to put your pride aside and allow others to help you is a major accomplishment. It is a strong factor in relapse prevention.

Make Things Right with Others

Addiction results in us lying to people we care about. It takes us to places we do not even want to go. The result is our offending and hurting others. The fourth step begins the process of healing those hurts and mending fences as much as possible.

Restoring relationships is an important thing to do. There are circumstances when it’s not possible or is impractical. In these situations your sponsor can be very helpful in working through the process.

This 12 step relapse prevention plan helps because you need people along your journey of recovery. Those restored relationships help you with the important factor of forgiveness. You need it from others and you need to extend it to yourself. This process works.

Work the Plan

There are 12 Steps and they all serve a purpose in your recovery. Don’t get hung up on rushing through the steps. This is not a race. Each step takes time, understanding and support of others who have ‘Worked’ the step.

Working the step means you put effort in to understanding what your risks of relapse are and how YOU can have a plan in place to prevent it. What is great about this is you can develop a plan fitting your situation with the tried and true experiences of others who have been successful.

Apply Principles in All of Your Life

In any good plan you want to see it implemented and sustained. The 12 Steps recommends for those who have successfully worked the steps to take the message to those in need of the steps. This is a way of giving back to others as others have given to you.

Another way to think about it is to apply what you have learned about your Higher Power, yourself and others into all of your life. This strategy is not just for those who wonder why 12 steps relapse prevention techniques are helpful it is valuable for anyone who wants to improve their life.

I hope you take the opportunity to share parts if not all of this article with your alcoholic.

How has this article helped you. Let us know in the comment section below.


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Here’s What 6 Other People Thought...

  1. Rod has taken he twelve steps and it has helped tremendously, he has also read the alcoholics bible and still reads it with verses backing him up , thank God he was going to church before all this, i do not know how people do this with out Christ and the bible reading in their lives and this review everyday seems to hit the situation right on the nail keep it coming FreeMyAddict

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Some people struggle with the idea of God and it often creates resistance to the 12 steps. I believe the fight is to keep using as much as it is against spirituality. Many alcoholics have prayed hundreds of prayers for relief from this horrible addiction only to wake up and do it all over again. For the discouraged it looks like God isn’t listening. In reality God is ready when we are prepared to stop fighting.

  2. Viki

    This is so true.

    I’ve attended open AA meetings (those open to people who aren’t alcoholics) once a week for about two years. I believe I gain as much from these meetings as the alcoholic.

    By going through the steps, you don’t just gain sobriety, you become a better person. I’m sure you’ve all heard of the term ‘dry drunk’, someone who isn’t drinking, but still has all the character traits of an alcoholic. The dry drunk is very susceptible to relapse. The steps keep the alcoholic honest and accountable, and on the right path.

    If everyone followed the 12 step program, I think this would be a much better world :)!

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      Even though 12 step programs was originally intended for alcoholism there has been a broad application across addictions. The steps have a great approach to personal responsibility, accountability, restoration and community. There aren’t many programs with a more solid process of change.

  3. Michelle

    I never and never will like the term “powerless”. It’s counter productive and opposes accountability which is central in getting and staying sober. Nobody is powerless. Even in the 11th hour at the 59. 9999 minute we have the “power” to change. It’s never too late. Giving over to God, or any sense of spirituality is not being powerless- it’s finding a power source!
    I’ve also noticed that many, too many, recoveries rush and get too caught up in “taking the message to those in need of the steps”, getting caught up in other people’s recovery prior to being secure themselves. It’s a dangerous and risky time for an addict when they shift their focus to others. Ideally I realize this time is only supposed to come when they have a firm grasp on “the steps”, when they’ve successfully completed and maintained them all, but too many rush to this step and compromise their own recovery.
    You’ve got to stay away from helping others recover until you’ve fully recovered yourself. That may take YEARS. Rushing into other people’s issues could just be another way of avoiding yours. We talked about this a few weeks ago. There is usually fathomless depth to delve into AFTER getting chemical free. Work should be done on prior to mentoring others.
    You just endanger them and you compromise your own recovery.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      I’ve not met any alcoholic’s who were successful in recovery ON THEIR OWN. Alcoholic’s need others to support them in the process of recovery. The idea in the first step is ALONE versus with your HIGHER POWER (as you see him). Some recognize the power of the group others discover their spirituality.

      I agree some get eager to help when they aren’t ready yet.

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