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A 12-step recovery program provides support and education for people who are trying to stay sober from alcohol or drugs. This self-help program is held in a group setting or individually with a professional counselor, with or without affected family members.
The philosophy of a 12-step program is that once a person is an addict or alcoholic, he or she is always an addict or alcoholic. The person must admit to being powerless over the drugs or alcohol and vow to take one day at a time. While no religion is followed, the program does acknowledge a "higher power" to which members must learn to turn over their problems. The program teaches the person to change negative attitudes and behaviors into positive ones. Use of drugs or alcohol is not allowed while participating in a 12-step recovery program.
A 12-step program is not considered a treatment program for alcohol or drug abuse, but it can serve as an important support group.
Last Revised: January 18, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Peter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction
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