22 Feb 2023


What is a Twelve-Step Program of Recovery from Addiction?

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Academic level: Master’s

Paper type: Article

Words: 291

Pages: 1

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Addiction is characterized by loss of control and the habitual behavior of substance use despite harmful consequences. However, the condition is not only manifested by using substances that produce dependencies like alcohol or those that do not create dependency like marijuana but also by habits unrelated to substances, such as gambling ( Mendola & Gibson, 2016) . Psychological, environmental, neurological, and genetic factors of an individual greatly influence addiction. Because of the complexity of the condition, physicians use a variety of treatment methods while treating addiction. Some of the treatment methods commonly used include counseling, medication, mutual help groups (MHG), psychotherapy, and counseling ( Mendola & Gibson, 2016) . The methods of treatment are, at times mixed, but with no certainty of a probable cure for affected individuals. 

The most widely used treatment approach is MHG’s twelve-step (TS) programs of recovery, founded by Bob Smith and Bill Wilson. The TS program points out that addiction is a progressive condition that renders its victims powerless. Therefore, the best way to combat the condition is for addicted members to support one another stay sober by observing the established steps. The TS program has become popular because it offers addicts a social network that supports recovery and also makes them take personal responsibility for their actions ( Humphreys, Ferri, & Kelly, 2017) . Though successful, TS programs face criticism for promoting the goal of abstinence from substance abuse, which does not apply to people who only wish to moderate their conditions. Research shows that the treatment methods have a minimal success rate because the power to heal from addiction depends on the will of the addicts. No treatment measure is superior to another because relapse rates after six months of addiction treatment among the general population are estimated to be between 40 to 60 percent. 

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Humphreys, K., Ferri, M., & Kelly, J. F. (2017). Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 ‐ step programs for alcohol use disorder.  The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017 (11). 

Mendola, A., & Gibson, R. (2016).  Addiction, 12-Step Programs, and Evidentiary Standards for Ethically and Clinically Sound Treatment Recommendations: What Should Clinicians Do? . Journal of Ethics | American Medical Association. Retrieved 16 February 2020, from https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/addiction-12-step-programs-and-evidentiary-standards-ethically-and-clinically-sound-treatment/2016-06

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). What is a Twelve-Step Program of Recovery from Addiction?.


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